After a very busy and productive three year posting here, HE Ambassador Nguyen Van Thao and his wife return to Vietnam at the end of October. They will be greatly missed. Throughout his time in the UK and despite his many official activities, the Ambassador has been an active President and steadfast supporter of the Vietnam UK Network.
On 21 September KPMG hosted a private farewell dinner for Ambassador Thao, on behalf of the Network, at 20 Grosvenor St, Mayfair. KPMG’s Stephen Ball welcomed the guests and Matt Jackson acted as host for the evening. Both Stephen and Network Chairman Ben Chapman spoke of the Ambassador’s contributions during his time in London and of the personal friendships established. On behalf of the Network, the Ambassador was presented with a decanter from the Houses of Parliament, both as a memento of the occasion and to remind him of the many successful Network events held in Parliament.
Subsequently, on 3 October, Ambassador Thao, his wife and colleagues generously hosted a delicious Vietnamese dinner to say farewell to members of the VUKN Committee and their partners, an event enjoyed by all. The Ambassador spoke of the strong family feelings he had towards the Network and thanked everyone for the support given to him and his Embassy during his posting. Chairman Ben Chapman used the occasion to present Amb Thao with a framed Certificate of Appreciation. The accompanying citation, read out by Vice Chairman Warwick Morris, was as follows:
‘His Excellency Nguyen Van Thao has been Viet Nam’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom for the past three years. During this time relations have reached new heights with visits to Vietnam by the UK’s then Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, the establishment of daily flights by Vietnam Airlines, and continued growth in trade, in tourism and in students studying in the UK. Throughout this time Ambassador Thao has been most supportive of the VUKN. As well as taking an active part in all Committee meetings, he has worked closely with the Network on a range of activities including high level visits, special events and seminars, to the mutual benefit of the two countries. He has missed no opportunity to broaden and deepen the bilateral relationship. His enthusiasm and energy will be greatly missed by the Network and others.’