Vietnam-US trade increases 130 times after two decades

09:30 | 18/02/2014 Cooperation

(VEN) - Two decades ago, former US President Bill Clinton announced the decision to lift the trade embargo against Vietnam, paving the way to normalize bilateral relations and promote economic cooperation between the two countries.

Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang (left) and US President Barack Obama

In a ceremony held in Washington by the Vietnamese Embassy in the US to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the normalization of trade relations between Vietnam and the US on February 3, Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Cuong affirmed that this significant event had opened a new page of bilateral economic and commercial cooperation. Trade between the two countries has grown impressively by 20 percent annually, reaching US$30 billion in 2013, up more than 130 times compared with 1994.

For many consecutive years the US has been a major export market for Vietnamese products such as textiles and garments, footwear, wood products and seafood. Each year, the US exported to Vietnam thousands of containers of agricultural products, meat, milk and manufactured products.

In 2013, Vietnamese businesses signed contracts to buy jet engines and wind turbines totally worth US$2.6 billion from the US. A number of big commercial contracts were signed between the two sides with notable examples including a contract signed for the GE (General Electric) Group of the US to sell 40 jet engines worth US$1.7 billion to the Vietnam Airlines Corporation and supply 52 turbines worth US$94 million for the second stage of a wind power project in Bac Lieu; GE and Snecma also signed a contract to supply jet engines worth US$800 million for VietJetAir.

Statistics show that the US currently ranks seventh among countries and territories investing in Vietnam. The US’ foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam has now reached about US$11 billion. In late 2013 and early 2014, the US invested in Vietnam through many new projects with total value of US$644 million of some businesses such as KKR, Texas Pacific Group, Warburg Pincus and Metlife. Some other companies which have been operational in Vietnam such as Coca-Cola, GE, UPS and Fedex have decided to increase their investment in Vietnam by a total of US$571 million. In 2013, for the first time, a private Vietnamese company committed itself to investing in a production facility based in Arkansas.

Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Cuong believed economic relations between Vietnam and the US would continue to develop after the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement is signed and emphasized that the two countries had made progress in negotiating the TPP. After it is signed, the agreement will integrate Vietnam with the most dynamic economies in the Asia-Pacific region which accounts for 40 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) - this will open big opportunities while at the same time bringing challenges for the Vietnamese economy.

On July 25, 2013, in the White House, Washington DC, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang and US President Barack Obama formally stated the establishment of a framework for comprehensive partnership between the two countries, opening a new period of bilateral relations based on mutual respect and benefits. The two leaders noted that economic, trade and investment cooperation would serve as the foundation and motive force of the comprehensive partnership to take the bilateral relationship to new heights.

The lifting of the US’ trade embargo against Vietnam paved the way for the two countries to promote economic cooperation and normalize bilateral relations in 1995. In the spirit of comprehensive partnership, Vietnam and the US have seen big opportunities to further boost bilateral cooperation./.

                                           Nguyen Huong