31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
May 13, 2022 / 16:15

Vietnam appreciates US’s support for prosperity and independence: PM

The strong progress in bilateral relations is evidence of the high complementary level between the two economies.

Vietnam appreciated the US’s support over the years to ensure its development, independence, and prosperity.

 Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the meeting. Source: VGP

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh made the remarks during a meeting with the US business community in Washington on May 12. The event was jointly held by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) and the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC) with the participation of a large number of US businesses, including some of the biggest in the world.

According to Chinh, the ups and downs in the past that the relations between Vietnam and the US have gone through are normal in international relations.

After 27 years of diplomatic normalization, Vietnam and the US have achieved significant progress, especially since the establishment of a comprehensive partnership in 2013, Chinh said.

“Bilateral cooperation has gone from strength to strength in all spheres, in which trade remains a key pillar,” he said.

Chinh mentioned the visit of four US presidents to Vietnam that have left a good impression on the people of both countries.

“US President Joe Biden is very interested in boosting the US relations with Vietnam amid the pandemic,” Chinh said, noting several high ranking US officials have visited Vietnam at the peak of the pandemic in 2021, including Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

“Both sides have overcome differences and reached an agreement over the basic principles for Vietnam-US relations,” Chinh added.

The prime minister referred to the US-Vietnam Joint Vision Statement signed in 2015 during the visit of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong which stressed the mutual respect’s political regime, independence, and sovereignty.

The US is currently Vietnam’s second-largest trading partner, and Vietnam is US’s ninth. The signing of the US-Vietnam bilateral trade agreement in 2020 has laid the foundation to take the relations to a new height.

In 2021, two-way trade turnover was estimated at $112 billion amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a 280-fold increase from the $400-million in 1995.

“The US is one of Vietnam’s largest investors with total commitments of over $10 billion, but the figure remains modest compared to the potential of the two countries,” Chinh added.

Chinh noted the strong progress in bilateral relations is evidence of the high complementary level between the two economies. But there is still a lot of work to be done to continue bringing benefits to the people.

Despite growing uncertainties in the global economy, Chinh said Vietnam is pushing for a rapid and sustainable socio-economic recovery at a time when the country is moving to a flexible Covid-19 response.

In 2022, Vietnam has reopened its economy and continues to remain firm in promoting an independent and self-reliant economy by further integrating into the global world.

“Vietnam remains steadfast in pursuing peace, stability, and friendship with countries all over the world,” he said.

 Overview of the meeting. 

Mutual trust is key

As the world is facing challenges from climate change, pandemic, cyber-security, or energy transition, Chinh suggested a global approach and multilateralism are key.

Vietnam has set up a national steering committee led by the prime minister to realize the country’s commitments in COP26.

“Energy transition is a complicated process, which requires a fair approach, for which developed countries are responsible for supporting others in terms of the legal framework, technologies, finance, workforce, and governance,” he added.

Regarding the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, Chinh said several issues raised in the initiative are significant to Vietnam, the US, and other countries.

“Vietnam is supportive of activities for peace, stability, development, and prosperity of the region and the world,” he noted.

Looking back at the difficulties in negotiating and approving the CPTPP, Chinh stressed sincerity, trust, and responsibility are decisive factors for countries to settle differences in a volatile world.

On this occasion, Chinh called for the US to continue supporting Vietnam to address the war legacy, especially in the search for unaccounted fallen soldiers, the consequences of agent orange, and the disposal of bombs and mines.

Vietnam currently has 200,000 unaccounted-for fallen combatants and three million people suffering from agent orange.

US-Vietnam relations "very special"

Former US Ambassador to Vietnam and Chairman of USABC Ted Osius said the US business community has benefited from the support of the Vietnamese Government.

According to Osius, US businesses consider Vietnam a priority market and would continue to contribute to the country’s prosperity, which is reflected by the huge number of companies taking part in the event.

He said US companies are capable of assisting Vietnam in adapting to climate change and transiting to a green and digital economy.

Together with trust and mutual understandings, businesses from the two countries could make the bilateral and also ASEAN-US relations central to  Asia and the Indo-Pacific, he said.

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai highlighted the special nature of bilateral relations, saying Vietnam is among key partners of the US. She added both sides have formed close ties in decades related to trade, economic, and investment activities.

Tai expected continued cooperation with Vietnam in terms of the digital economy and in promoting the development of small and micro businesses as potential fields in the future.