Vietnam embargo must go: legislator

THE British Government should support the lifting of the US embargo on Vietnam, Legislative Councillor Mr Martin Barrow said.

On his return to the territory yesterday after a three-day visit to Hanoi, Mr Barrow said he would continue to press the British Government to ask the US to change its policy.

''France, Germany, Japan, Australia have all made their position quite clear, but not the British. I urge them to stand up and adopt a more aggressive position this time,'' he said.

Mr Barrow said he was waiting for a response from Britain.

The matter needed urgent attention, he said, as the World Bank would be holding its annual meeting in Washington in two weeks.

He hoped that the US would lift its embargo as soon as possible, including the veto of International Monetary Fund/World Bank support.

Mr Barrow, chairman of the Hongkong Tourist Association, said the Hongkong-supported aid projects had been playing a helpful role in revitalising the Vietnamese economy.

''It also gives Vietnamese people here a psychological boost and encourages them to return home,'' he said.

''I also urge the Vietnamese to simplify the procedures for the return programmes. Both the Hongkong Government and the UNHCR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] should step up counselling activities here to encourage the number of volunteers,'' he added.

He said the link between Vietnam and Hongkong was getting closer and that Vietnam would be developed into a centre for trade, tourism and investment.

He had talks with the Vietnamese Foreign Minister and the British Embassy on the voluntary return programme and overall economic development.