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Aug 25, 2021 / 22:20

Vietnam looks forward to bolstering comprehensive partnership with the US: PM

US Vice President Kamala Harris stated that the Vietnam-US relations would continue to progress in all spheres, with priorities given to economy-trade, climate change, science-technology, and healthcare.

Vietnam gives priority to its comprehensive partnership with the US, expecting a substantial and stable bilateral relationship that would contribute to peace, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.

 Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Vice President Kamala Harris. Photos: Nhat Bac

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stressed the view in a meeting with US Vice President Kamala Harris today [August 25].

The prime minister expressed his delight in significant improvements in the Vietnam-US relations and thanked the US for its support of vaccines and medical equipment to contain the current Covid-19 outbreak.

Chinh welcomed the close cooperation between local enterprises and their US peers in vaccine production and the US’ decision to establish the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Southeast Asia Regional Office in Hanoi.

Chinh called for the US’ further support in efforts to fight the pandemic, especially in gaining access to vaccine supplies or transferring technologies for vaccine production.

Referring to Vietnam’s recent contract to purchase 50 million doses of Pfizer vaccines, Chinh requested US assistance to help the firm accelerate vaccine delivery to Vietnam this year.

To further boost bilateral relations, Chinh stressed economic-trade cooperation remains a pillar and driving force for bilateral relations, which should be further enhanced under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).

“Vietnam and the US may consider devising a new cooperation framework to foster more balanced and sustainable trade relations for mutual benefits,” Chinh suggested.

Despite severe Covid-19 impacts, bilateral trade turnover rose by 32.8% year-on-year to US$62.5 billion in the first seven months of this year.

“Vietnam is committed to creating favorable conditions for US firms to be successful in the country,” Chinh said while expecting a similar approach from the US Government for major Vietnamese corporations to invest in the US and contribute to balanced trade-investment relations.

 Overview of the meeting. 

Chinh said Vietnam has a huge demand for cooperation in education and training and proposed the US government grant more scholarships to Vietnamese students, while medical science, healthcare, biotech, and innovation are potential fields that two countries should push on.

For her part, Vice President Harris stressed the bilateral comprehensive partnership is significant to the US, expressing hope it would continue to support a strong, independent, and prosperous Vietnam.

Harris added the US would continue to support Vietnam in containing the Covid-19 pandemic and future diseases and avoid disruption to global supply chains.

She informed the US will support one million doses of Pfizer vaccines for Vietnam and the batch would be delivered within the next 24 hours, as well as to enhance the country’s healthcare capabilities to respond to other diseases in the long term.

Harris stressed the Vietnam-US relations would continue to progress in all spheres, with priorities given to economy-trade, climate change, science-technology, and healthcare.

The two leaders also discussed regional and international issues, in which both reaffirmed the central role of ASEAN in resolving territorial disputes on the East Sea based on international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

While climate change is a global issue and should have a global approach, Chinh said Vietnam is committed to promoting a green and sustainable economy to gradually reduce carbon emissions.

Chinh said he looks forward to welcoming Harris to return to Vietnam once the pandemic is fully controlled, for which Harris stated she expects to return when the conditions allow.

Despite the Covid-19 crisis, Vietnam-US trade turnover for the first time surpassed the $90-billion mark in 2020, a massive jump from around $1.5 billion in 2001 when the two countries signed the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) in the same year. 

Such strong momentum has been extended to this year as the US remained Vietnam’s largest export market for the first seven months with $53.7 billion, a surge of 37.7% year-on-year.

With Vietnam’s major export products to the US consisting of equipment and machinery, experts suggested the country has become a key part of the global supply chains.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai suggested with the complementary nature between the two economies, Vietnam is determined to continue the economic reform and global integration to strengthen its relations with the US.

As the country is taking steps to improve its business environment, Hai expected Vietnam would continue to raise imports from the US and attract more US companies to do business in the country.