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Mar 08, 2022 / 11:57

Vietnam aims to promote harmonious bilateral relations with the US: PM

Vietnam has risen to become the ninth-largest trading partner of the US and the two sides' economic relationship between is expected to continue its rapid growth.

Vietnam and the US should further relations based on the principle of harmonious benefits and sharing risks.

 Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the summit. Photos: VGP

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stressed the view at the fifth Vietnam-US Business Summit jointly held today [March 8] by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hanoi (AmCham), the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), and the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington.

According to Chinh, after 35 years since the inception of Doi moi (reform), Vietnam has achieved historical results in terms of socio-economic development, which puts the country in its best economic-political position yet.

As Vietnam is in the process of building a socialist country and a socialist-oriented market economy, Chinh identified three key breakthroughs to fulfill it, namely,  finalizing legal institutions, promoting infrastructure development, and training high-quality human resources.

“In this regard, the people would be at the center, the beneficiary, objective, and driver for development,” he said.

By 2030, Vietnam envisions becoming an upper-middle-income country with a modern industrial sector, and in 2045 to become a developed and high-income country.

Throughout the process of Vietnam’s development, the US-Vietnam relations since the normalization in 1995 have progressed strongly in all spheres, Chinh said.

Bilateral trade turnover rose by 250-fold from US$450 million in 1995 to over $111 billion in 2021, with the latter representing an increase of nearly $21 billion against the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

The US is Vietnam’s second-largest trading partner and largest export market. Vietnam has risen to become the ninth-largest trading partner of the US and the economic relationship between the two countries is expected to continue its rapid growth, Chinh said.

Chinh mentioned the positive results from a survey conducted by AmCham in 2021, in which 80% of its members have placed confidence in the bright prospects of Vietnam’s economy in the mid-and long term.

In reality, Vietnam’s economy, from a contraction GDP growth in the third quarter of 2021, had rebounded to 5.22% in the subsequent one and ended the year with a positive growth rate.

For the coming time, Chinh said Vietnam would focus on realizing the socio-economic recovery program of up to VND350 trillion ($15.8 billion), or 4% of the GDP.

“The priority would be to reopen the economy and enhance public health capabilities, ensure social welfare, the recovery of the labor market, and support the business community,” Chinh added.

 Overview of the summit.

Pushing for digitalization, green growth

Since Vietnam is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change, Chinh said a comprehensive response to the threat is a national priority.

He said the country has acted swiftly to realize its commitments made at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26, by setting up a national steering committee on COP26 commitments in late 2021.

“Vietnam, as a developing country with severe consequences from past wars, continues to call for fairness and justice in climate change adaptation, and the support from the global community in promoting green growth,” Chinh suggested.

Chinh also stressed the imperative for Vietnam to fast-track the digitalization process that targets the formation of digital government, digital citizens, and digital society.

With these issues also of concern to the US, Chinh said as both countries share the same view in various matters, with a strong bilateral foundation and determination to push the relations forward,   the partnership would grow strongly in the future.

Sharing the same view, AmCham Executive Director Adam Sitkoff noted Vietnam is an essential link in the global supply chain of goods for the US. At the same time, US companies and investors have contributed significantly to the transformation and growth of Vietnam’s economy, he said.

“I am confident that the growth trend of trade and investment between our two countries will continue,” Sitkoff noted. “Progress on the key issues raised at today’s summit will improve business conditions that strengthen the private sector, ensure economic and social development, attract additional investment, and promote prosperity here in Vietnam,” Sitkoff added.

Speakers and panel participants discussed a wide range of issues at the event, including driving growth and innovation through the digital and creative economy, addressing energy development needs to fuel Vietnam’s future growth, and promoting sustainable investment and stable policies to energize economic recovery.

“Our business community places great importance on engagement with the government and believes that robust dialogue between the government and the private sector helps lead to optimal public policy outcomes,” AmCham Chairman John Rockhold said.

VCCI Chairman and President Pham Tan Cong emphasized dynamism, creativity, and innovation to adapt to the new normal, Vietnamese and American businesses have actively cooperated for mutual development and have become one of the main factors defining the future of bilateral economic relations.

As a green economy is part of the VCCI’s agenda to promote sustainable development among the business community, Cong highlighted an MoU signed last November between VCCI and the USAID to establish a Green Index to promote an environmentally friendly business ecosystem in Vietnam.

“Promoting and supporting Vietnamese enterprises to implement digital transformation - an area with great potential in Vietnam-US business cooperation - is also identified by VCCI as one of three strategic breakthroughs in the coming period,” he concluded.