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Nov 23, 2020 / 09:24

Trade plays central role in Vietnam-US relations: PM Phuc

Vietnam is making efforts to balance trade with the US.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has affirmed that Vietnam regards trade as a key pillar in the relationship with the US.

 US National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien at at meeting in Hanoi with Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. Photo: Quang Hieu

Trade would be momentum for the two countries’ development and Vietnam is willing to facilitate the investment of US businesses, Mr. Phuc said at a meeting with US National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien in his visit to Hanoi on November 21-22.

The Vietnamese PM emphasized the Vietnamese government facilitates US companies operating in Vietnam and encourages hi-tech firms and cooperation between Vietnamese and US companies.

He noted the need to maintain dialogue that is based on mutual respect for mutual interest.

For his part, O’Brien highly appreciated Vietnam’s efforts to balance the two-way trade and increase import of US goods, taking examples of big commercial deals in infrastructure, oil and gas, industrial equipment, airplanes, IT, among others.

 Vietnam-US trade in 2015-2019. Source: Vietnam Customs. Chart: Asia Briefing Ltd

According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the US-Vietnam trade totaled an estimated US$81.3 billion in 2019. The US goods and services trade deficit with Vietnam was US$54.5 billion in the same year.

Vietnam was the US’ seventh largest supplier of goods imports in 2019 with US$66.6 billion in 2019, up 35.5% on-year, and up 442.2% from 2009. US imports from Vietnam account for 2.7% of overall US imports in 2019.

In terms of investment, US foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam was US$2.6 billion in 2019, down 8.2% on-year.

In O’Brien's visit to Hanoi, US and Vietnamese firms signed a power deal worth approximate US$1 billion, the fourth of its kind signed between the US and Vietnam’s companies over the past month.