16:24 | 22/07/2015 Cooperation
(VEN) - July 12, 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of the normalization of Vietnam-US diplomatic relations. Leaders of the two countries have agreed to upgrade bilateral relations into a comprehensive partnership and promote economic cooperation.
US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius (right) answers interview questions
Ted Osius, the first Political Officer at the US Embassy in Vietnam 20 years ago and now US Ambassador to Vietnam, said he saw a very different Vietnam compared with 20 years ago. In his eyes, Vietnam has promoted comprehensive international integration and undergone big changes, and young Vietnamese people are optimistic about the future of the country.
Answering the question “Which persons will you think of when looking back on the normalization of Vietnam-US relations over the last two decades?”, Ambassador Ted Osius said, “I will think of former US President Bill Clinton - the person who had bravely overcome many obstacles to lift the US trade embargo on Vietnam and normalize bilateral relations. I will think of former Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan, and Le Van Bang, the first Vietnamese Ambassador to the US. Many people in the past and at present have significantly contributed to and are expecting much from the future of the two countries. We can’t disappoint them. The US always supports a growing, independent, prosperous Vietnam and respects its jurisdiction. I will actively support Vietnam as long as I remain US Ambassador to the country.
The normalization of diplomatic relations in 1995, the signing of the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement in 2000, and the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in which Vietnam and the US are potential partners, have raised bilateral trade from zero to over US$35 billion in late 2014. The US has become the largest export market for Vietnam. Trade with the US has brought Vietnam the highest trade surplus (last year, Vietnam recorded a US$22.4 billion surplus in trade with the US). The US is currently the seventh largest foreign investor in Vietnam with about 700 projects totally capitalized at US$10.7 billion.
Regarding the TPP, Ambassador Ted Osius said the fact that President Barack Obama had fast-tracked the massive TPP trade deal would create pressures for all the 12 negotiating countries. Economists predicted Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) could grow 30 percent if the country joins the TPP.
Communist Party of Vietnam General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong visited the US from July 6-10. US President Barack Obama also intends to visit Vietnam. Ambassador Ted Osius called General Secretary Trong’s visit a historical event as it was the first visit to the US by a Vietnamese party leader. The two sides discussed important issues related to political, diplomatic, economic, security, national defense, and maritime cooperation, and the East Sea issue, to seek a joint vision in the future.
US Secretary of State John Kerry:
No other two nations have worked together that much to achieve significant progress in bilateral relations as the US and Vietnam.