US prioritizes trade ties with Vietnam, seeks to reduce trade deficit

11:14 | 02/04/2020 Cooperation

(VEN) - In an interview with Vietnam Economic News’ Nguyen Huong and Bui Hung, US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink said his country would prioritize bilateral cooperation with Vietnam, especially in the field of trade. 

us prioritizes trade ties with vietnam seeks to reduce trade deficit
US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink

What impressed you the most about economic cooperation and trade between Vietnam and the US in the 25 years since the normalization of bilateral diplomatic relations?

Bilateral relations between Vietnam and the US have been maintained over the past 25 years and are expanding. Today, the two countries have a deep partnership and cooperate in a wide range of fields, from security, trade, energy and people-to-people exchange to healthcare.

Among these fields, I think economic cooperation has grown strongly and is a pillar of the comprehensive partnership between the two countries. The results of bilateral trade and investment have increased annually. Trade between the two countries, from almost zero 25 years ago, has reached US$77 billion. Despite an increasing trade deficit resulting from rapid growth of Vietnam’s exports, the US saw its exports to Vietnam up 13 percent last year to nearly US$11 billion.

I’m very happy to know that Vietnam is taking steps to resolve trade problems in agriculture as well as to open its market to US food and citrus products. We are preparing for the signing of trade contracts and memorandums of understanding on cooperation in energy, aviation, network services and many other fields in order to accelerate resolution of major problems facing the US.

We also hope that Vietnam will buy more goods from the US to balance bilateral trade. We have provided support for US businesses operating in Vietnam to create more jobs and expand investment in this market. Despite numerous difficulties caused by the Covid-19 epidemic, US companies are optimistic about their future prospects in Vietnam.

The US attaches growing importance to its bilateral partnership with Vietnam and will give it priority. My colleagues and I are deeply interested in and want to spend much time on activities to promote bilateral relations in trade, rather than any other field.

us prioritizes trade ties with vietnam seeks to reduce trade deficit
Textiles and garments are key Vietnamese exports to the US

Many US companies have shown their interest in the Vietnamese market. Which fields do you think will benefit both sides?

There are still many opportunities for bilateral cooperation. Energy is a potential area. We can work together in building infrastructure to import liquefied natural gas and develop alternative energy resources. The two sides can also cooperate in other fields such as healthcare, information technology, transport, aviation, and smart city development.

During the recent visit to Vietnam by a delegation from the US-ASEAN Business Council, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to promote cooperation? Could you elaborate on this?

This MoU can be said to be the latest evidence of the growth of trade relations between the US and Vietnam. It reflects the important role of the US-ASEAN Business Council in supporting activities to promote bilateral trade relations.

We know that Vietnam exports various kinds of farm produce to the US and is the world’s sixth largest agricultural exporter. However, Vietnam also has demand for import of high-grade agricultural products and modern farming technologies from the US. We believe US companies with extensive experience and technology can help Vietnam further develop the agricultural sector.

The US currently is a major export market for Vietnamese goods. Bilateral trade is forecast to continue growing provided that the two sides maintain regular exchange and cooperation to seek new opportunities.

Nguyen Huong