You need to exchange character data with systems that use character-encoding schemes other than UTF-16, which is the character-encoding scheme used internally by the CLR.
Use the System.Text.Encoding class and its subclasses to convert characters between different encoding schemes.
How It Works
Unicode is not the only character-encoding scheme nor is UTF-16 the only way to represent Unicode characters. When your application needs to exchange character data with external systems (particularly legacy systems) through an array of bytes, you may need to convert character data between UTF-16 and the encoding scheme supported by the other system.
The MustInherit class Encoding ...