Vietnam, US strengthen partnership

10:57 | 09/06/2017 Cooperation

(VEN) - More than two decades after the normalization of bilateral relations, Vietnam currently ranks 12th among US export partners and 27th among its import partners. Trade between the two countries has grown an average 25 percent annually. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to the US from May 29-31 yielded significant results, paving the way to new heights in the bilateral comprehensive partnership.

vietnam us strengthen partnership
On the occasion of PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to the US from may 29-31, the two sides released a joint statement on enhancing their comprehensive partnership - Photo: US Department of State

Good progress in trade and investment

In 1994, the Us lifted its embargo on Vietnam, and trade between the two countries stood at US$220 million. Since the US-Vietnam Bilateral trade agreement (Bta) took effect in 2000, bilateral trade has grown continuously, from US$1.4 billion in 2001 to more than US$47 billion in 2016.

In the first four months of this year, Vietnam exported US$12.4 billion worth of goods to the US, accounting for over 20 percent of its total export value and up 8.7 percent compared with the same period in 2016. major Vietnamese exports to this market include textiles and garments, footwear, wood and electronic products, seafood, machinery and equipment, spare parts, handbags, telephones and components, and agricultural products.

According to US Consul General in ho chi minh city, Mary Tarnowka, despite the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (tPP), trade and investment between the two countries keep growing. She believes bilateral relations will tighten following Vietnam’s international economic integration, reaffirming Vietnam’s willingness to further open its economy.

By the end of last year, with 815 investment projects in Vietnam totaling US$10.07 billion in registered capital, the US ranked eighth among 112 countries and territories directly investing in Vietnam. Vietnam has invested in the US through 147 projects with total registered capital of US$571.38 million.

On the occasion of PM Phuc’s visit to the US, Vietnamese and Us businesses signed cooperation contracts and agreements valued at about Us$10 billion. most were signed for Vietnamese businesses to import equipment, technologies and services from the US.

A recent survey by the american chamber of commerce (AmCham) showed that Vietnam remains the first choice, among other countries in the region, for US businesses. seventy-two percent of surveyed US businesses recognized the improvement of the business environment in Vietnam; More than 40 percent plan to expand their operations in the next two years; over 80 percent expect higher profits in 2018.

Strengthening comprehensive partnership

President Donald Trump welcomed PM nguyen Xuan Phuc and the high-ranking Vietnamese delegation’s visit to the US. He affirmed the US respect for its relations with Vietnam as well as the role of Vietnam and Asean in the region, and expressed his hope for further growth of bilateral relations.

PM Phuc expressed his gratitude to President Trump and the US government for their warm welcome and affirmed that Vietnam attached great importance to its comprehensive partnership with the US and greatly appreciates US policies regarding the Asia-Pacific region.

The two leaders agreed that there are many opportunities ahead for bilateral relations to further develop. They affirmed their commitments to expand bilateral relations for mutual benefit and contribute to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the Asia-Pacific region and worldwide.

As a powerful country with interests and commitments covering the entire Asia-Pacific region, the US shares with Vietnam major interests. the two leaders emphasized that there are opportunities for Vietnam and the US to expand political, diplomatic, economic and commercial relations, as well as bilateral cooperation in science and technology, national defense, security, education, people-to-people exchanges, humanities, consequences of war and issues of regional and global concern.

The two leaders agreed to strengthen the bilateral partnership in accordance with the charter of the United Nations and international laws, while respecting each other’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political systems.

PM Phuc affirmed Vietnam’s consistent economic renovation and international integration policies and willingness to create favorable conditions for foreign businesses, including US companies, to invest in Vietnam. He also stated Vietnam’s commitment to enforce and protect intellectual property rights and improve labor regulations in accordance with Vietnam’s international commitments.

The two leaders emphasized the importance of boosting bilateral trade and creating a favorable business environment, especially effective implementation of trade and investment framework agreements, to deal with problems in a constructive manner.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc welcomed US participation in and contributions to building regional security and economic

structures, and affirmed that Vietnam would maintain tight coordination with the US in forthcoming meetings of the

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum and the East Asia Summit.

President Donald Trump affirmed that the US would continue supporting ASEAN’s central role and promoting the US strategic

partnership with ASEAN, that the US supports Vietnam as the host of APEC 2017, and that he was awaiting his visit to

Vietnam this November to attend the APEC leaders’ meetings.

Ngoc Thao