Visit by VP Harris bolsters Vietnam-US relationship

06:00 | 10/09/2021 Cooperation

(VEN) - US Vice President Kamala Harris, the highest-ranking official under the Biden administration, conducted a three-day visit to Vietnam in late August, contributing further to the comprehensive partnership between the two countries.

visit by vp harris bolsters vietnam us relationship
Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) and US Vice President Kamala Harris at an August 25 reception in Hanoi

The US attaches importance to relations with Vietnam

Vietnam-US relations have been flourishing over the past 26 years, developing greater substance and effectiveness across all areas of bilateral, regional and global cooperation. Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Vietnam considers the US one of its key partners and wishes to work with it to strengthen the comprehensive partnership based on mutual respect for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and the political system of each country.

Vice President Kamala Harris expressed continued support for a strong, prosperous and independent Vietnam that continues to innovate, expand international integration, and play an increasingly important role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the region. Harris said her trip to Vietnam signals the beginning of the next chapter in the relationship between the two countries. The two sides will together tackle current problems, as well as take on future challenges, she added.

One of the highlights of the visit was the launch of the Southeast Asia Regional Office of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Hanoi and the signing of a land lease agreement for a new US Embassy compound in Hanoi.

Vietnam facilitates operations of US companies

visit by vp harris bolsters vietnam us relationship

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, since the Vietnam-US Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) took effect in December 2001, two-way trade has seen strong growth, from nearly US$1.5 billion in 2001 to about US$50.8 billion in 2017. Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, bilateral trade reached US$90.8 billion in 2020, an increase of 19.8 percent compared to a year ago. In the first seven months of 2021, the US continued to be Vietnam’s major export market, with turnover of US$62.5 billion, a year-on-year increase of 32.8 percent.

At the meeting with Harris, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh affirmed that Vietnam considers economy and trade as a pillar and driving force of Vietnam-US relations. PM Chinh proposed the two sides continue to strengthen cooperation within the framework of the Vietnam-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and consider the possibility of establishing a new economic and trade cooperation framework to promote harmonious and sustainable trade cooperation.

The Vietnamese government is always ready to create favorable conditions for US companies to do business in Vietnam and wants the US to help Vietnamese businesses invest in the US, PM Chinh said.

Harris affirmed that the economic and security relationship between the two countries is being strengthened. She emphasized that the US government will continue to prioritize cooperation with Vietnam in economy-trade, climate change, science-technology, the pharmaceutical industry and health, while supporting Vietnam in overcoming the lingering consequences of war, strengthening Vietnam-US cooperation in United Nations peacekeeping activities and enhancing the capacity of maritime security as well as development cooperation.

The visit of US Vice President Kamala Harris to Vietnam contributed to further consolidating bilateral relations and promoting multi-faceted cooperation, while reaffirming the US commitment to the region.

Thu Phuong