A trade mission of eleven UK companies paid a five-day visit to Vietnam from November 9 to explore opportunities in the development of smart cities and to encourage the country’s adoption of standardization in such development.
The UK Government organized the trade mission in partnership with the Vietnam Software and IT Services Association (VINASA), the Ho Chi Minh City Computer Association, and the British Chamber of Commerce Vietnam (BritCham).
During the five-day mission, which included three days in Hanoi and two days in Ho Chi Minh City, the UK companies met with a wide range of authorities and stakeholders in the public and private sectors in business-to-business (B2B) matching sessions and the UK Smart Cities Day in Ho Chi Minh City. The trade mission was also the result of the UK - Vietnam Letter of Intent to enhance B2B cooperation in digital development in 2021 and supports the UK’s wider Global Future Cities Programme.
Its scope of activities followed recommendations from the Smart City Handbook: Vietnam.
Speaking about the visit, British Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Iain Frew, said that effective implementation and management of smart cities will support urban areas to grasp the opportunities and address the challenges of rapid urbanization while strengthening climate adaptation and resilience. “Via the trade mission, the UK commits to bolstering trade and investment ties with Vietnam and supporting the country with the standardization of smart cities development,” he added. “This, in turn, will set a clear pathway to adopt approaches that put people at the heart of implementing Smart Cities.”
During a meeting with the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC), the two sides discussed the potential for commercial cooperation between Vietnam and the UK in Smart Cities and the National Digital Transformation Program, platforms for digital transformation, and applications or digital technology applications for urban areas.
Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation and utilize the Letter of Intent between the MoIC and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, creating a foundation for other bilateral digital cooperation in the future.
The eleven UK companies were Arup, the British Standards Institution, Arup Caburn Telecom, Carbon Re, CogAl, Edify, Indie Spring, Kingspan, ProtectBox, Unifi.ID, and VX Fiber UK.
Mr. Kelly Cailes, Vice President of Business Development at Carbon Re, said Vietnam offers quality opportunities for smart cities technologies to address infrastructure overload and negative environmental impacts. “The development of smart cities is inevitable, yet needs cross-border partnerships striving towards coherence and sustainability,” he added. “And the trade mission offers a platform to do so.”