By Bill Heaney

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack is in Vietnam for a visit which will see him promote locally produced Scotch whisky as well as work to boost diplomatic ties with the south-east Asian nation.

With this year marking the 50th anniversary of the UK and Vietnam starting formal diplomatic relations, Mr Jack said it was a “real honour” to promote the UK’s interests there.

He will be joined on the four-day visit by representatives from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) – with a joint whisky reception being held in Hanoi for key business leaders.

The trip to Vietnam will also see the Scottish Secretary hold talks with leading members of the Vietnamese government, including the foreign minister, Bui Thanh Son; agriculture and rural development vice minister, Phung Duc Tien; and the vice minister for industry and trade, Nguyen Sinh Nhat Tan.

In addition, Mr Jack, left,  will visit Paisley-based textile firm Coats’ factory in Ho Chi Minh City to learn about the firm’s operations there, and will meet students at the University Vietnam (BUV) to witness the signing of a new partnership between the BUV and Stirling University.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr Jack said: “It is a real honour to promote UK interests in Vietnam – particularly this year which marks 50 years of the UK’s and Vietnam’s formal diplomatic relations.

“I look forward to building on these strong and important ties with our Vietnamese friends.”

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