What a difference 25 years make

US, Vietnam mark milestone of ties

08:47 | 11/02/2020 Cooperation

(VEN) - This year marks a quarter century since the US and Vietnam established diplomatic relations.

us vietnam mark milestone of ties
The US supports Vietnam in overcoming the consequences of war

Growing turnover

Vietnam-US relations have made considerable strides, with economics, trade, and investment being priority areas and driving forces for bilateral relations. According to US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink, Vietnam is one of America’s fastest growing markets worldwide.

The average export-import growth rate of the two countries during the 2010-2019 period reached more than 16 percent per year. The US continued to be Vietnam’s biggest export market in the first 11 months of 2019 with export revenue of US$55.6 billion, up 27.9 percent compared to a year ago. Garments and textiles led Vietnam’s exports to the US, with an estimated turnover of US$15 billion in 2019, accounting for 45.2 percent of total turnover of Vietnam’s exports of garments and textiles.

Vietnam’s imports from the US reached an estimated US$12 billion in 2019. US companies are interested in exports of agricultural products, foodstuffs and liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the Vietnamese market in order to contribute to balancing trade between the two countries.

In terms of investment, US companies have poured more than US$9.2 billion into Vietnam, ranking 11th among the countries and territories investing in the country. Large US companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon have been making significant contributions to Vietnam’s development.

US Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Marie C. Damour said that since the US and Vietnam established diplomatic relations 25 years ago, more and more US companies are promoting investment in Vietnam and are hopeful about the country’s future.

American companies operate across the spectrum of economic activity in Vietnam, investing in manufacturing and infrastructure, as well as providing high-quality consumer goods, agricultural and industrial products, and technology and services. US companies have invested billions of dollars in Vietnam, integrating the country into the global supply chain, creating quality jobs, and helping the country become more productive, efficient, safe and clean.

us vietnam mark milestone of ties
US Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Marie C. Damour (first from the right)

New heights

In addition to bilateral relations, Vietnam and the US have also coordinated closely in multilateral forums, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) for regional peace, stability, cooperation and development. The two sides have agreed to strengthen ASEAN-US relations and support ASEAN’s central role in the regional structure.

While the Asia-Pacific region is still one of the most dynamic development regions in the world, Vietnam, with its process of modernization and extensive international integration, is becoming a key member with an important voice in the region, especially as it shoulders the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020. Vietnam continues to treasure and wishes to strengthen its relations with countries around the world, including the US, in order to promote its role as a trusted and responsible partner. The US, for its part, continues to prioritize its extensive cooperation with countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Vietnam.

US companies are keen to contribute to Vietnam’s development. The US Department of Commerce plans to arrange a business delegation to visit Vietnam in March 2020 to seek cooperation opportunities in energy. In addition, the two sides can promote partnership in health care, a field in which the US has advantages. In its bid to promote equitization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), Vietnam is also creating favorable conditions for large US companies to become strategic partners.

However, to bring cooperation to new heights, US companies hope the Vietnamese government will further improve the business and investment environment and simplify administrative procedures in order to facilitate business activities.

Ngoc Thao