Trump’s visit boosts prospects of upgraded trade, investment ties with Vietnam

15:07 | 15/03/2019 Cooperation

(VEN) - US President Donald Trump’s visit to Vietnam for the second DPRK-USA Summit on February 27-28 in Hanoi was an opportunity to promote trade and investment between the two countries. At their meetings on the summit sidelines, leaders of the two sides affirmed that trade and investment cooperation would remain a driving force in bilateral relations.

trumps visit boosts prospects of upgraded trade investment ties with vietnam
US President Donald Trump meets Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc

Comprehensive partnership

At the talks with US President Donald Trump, Party General Secretary, President Nguyen Phu Trong affirmed Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, and diversification of foreign relations, and integration into the world on the principle of mutual respect for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political regimes. He also reiterated the country’s consistent appreciation for its partnership with the US, and expressed his delight at the progress in US-Vietnam relations, which has yielded practical benefits to both peoples.

For his part, US President Donald Trump said he was impressed by the hospitality and the development of Vietnam. He thanked the country for its thorough preparations for the second DPRK-USA Summit in a short period. “It’s a very important summit in Vietnam because you really are an example of what can happen with good thinking,” Trump said. The two leaders agreed to maintain high-level meetings and delegation exchanges and consolidate existing dialogue mechanisms. They voiced their support for further cooperation in addressing the consequences of war, including the cleanup of the dioxin contamination at Bien Hoa Airport. They also agreed to foster mutually beneficial partnerships in economy, trade and investment.

Following the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of several economic cooperation documents worth more than US$21 billion. These include a deal between Vietjet Air and Boeing for 100 new 737 MAX planes worth US$12.7 billion, and a 12-year agreement worth US$5.3 billion between Vietjet Air and General Electric (GE) Aviation on aircraft engine supply and comprehensive maintenance services. A nearly-US$3-billion contract was also signed between Boeing and Bamboo Airways to buy 10 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner wide-body jets.

At the meeting between US President Donald Trump and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the two sides agreed to keep implementing existing cooperation mechanisms like the Vietnam-US Bilateral Trade Agreement and the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. The two sides will also continue discussing the possibility of upgrading bilateral trade-investment ties to match the development of their economic-trade relations and the nature of the comprehensive partnership, they added. President Trump lauded Vietnam’s active settlement of some prioritized trade issues, affirming his strong support for cooperation in this field for the sake of the two peoples.

trumps visit boosts prospects of upgraded trade investment ties with vietnam
US President Donald Trump and Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong witness the signing of a trade deal between Boeing and Bamboo Airways

Rapidly increased trade turnover

In the 25 years since the normalization of relations, two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and the US has increased nearly 120 times, reaching over US$60 billion in 2018 from US$450 million in 1994.

Vietnam currently ranks 16th among the top US trading partners, with annual trade growth between the two countries reaching 20 percent. Vietnam has consistently maintained a large trade surplus with the US.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam’s exports to the US in January reached more than US$5.15 billion, accounting for 23.3 percent of the country’s total export turnover, up 42.1 percent compared to the same period last year. Of which, garment-textile exports to the US increased 34.1 percent to hit over US$1.59 billion, followed by footwear with US$620 million, wood and timber products with US$475 million, and mobile phones with US$473 million.

A range of Vietnamese goods has become increasingly popular in the US, among them mangoes, which the US has licensed for import from Vietnam after a decade of negotiations.

Minister Counselor Bui Huy Son, head of the Vietnam Trade Office in the US, said that to promote sustainable exports to the US, government agencies and the business community should continue to coordinate closely in order to create a favorable environment, while improving goods quality, building brands, making good use of distribution systems, and effectively implementing trade promotion activities.

Huong Nguyen