Thursday, 25 May 2017
Talking to a Washington-based Vietnam News Agency correspondent on January 3, the diplomat highlighted the recent fruitful achievements in the bilateral ties, saying that the comprehensive partnership, set up during President Truong Tan Sang’s visit to the US in July 2013, is an important framework for stepping up the two countries’ relations.
“Economic cooperation continues to be a bright spot in bilateral relations,” says Vietnam’s ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh
He stressed that the results contributed significantly to pushing the all-around ties, especially in politics-diplomacy with a series of all -level visits during 2014.
The two sides implemented 11 dialogue mechanisms in such areas as politics, security, defence, economy, development, democracy, human rights and labour, he added.
According to the ambassador, economic cooperation continued to be a bright spot in bilateral relations. The US remains one of Vietnam’s leading economic partners and export markets with two-way trade estimated to hit 35-36 billion USD last year. It is now the seventh largest foreign investor in Vietnam, pouring nearly 10.7 billion USD into 700 projects. The two countries are also proactively joining negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement.
Remarkable progress was also seen in defence and security cooperation, evidenced by the US’s partial lifting of an arms embargo against Vietnam. The two sides exchanged visits by defence officials and expanded collaboration between their coast guards. They are deploying an 18 million dollar aid package funded by the US to help improve Vietnam’s maritime capacity.
Sci-tech cooperation made a breakthrough as the civil nuclear cooperation Agreement 123 officially took effect from September 10, 2014, opening a great opportunity for both to forge links in the field.
The US side also committed to working closely with Vietnam in dealing with the consequences of war, such as detoxification of dioxin-affected areas and medical assistance for people with disabilities by post-war effects.
Education cooperation and people-to-people exchanges were further expanded. Vietnam now leads ASEAN countries in the number of students studying in the US, with 16,000.
Regarding the tourism aspect, the number of American visitors to Vietnam has continuously increased in recent years, reaching around 443,000 in 2014.
Along with bilateral ties, the two countries effectively coordinated with each other at international and regional multilateral forums, with the first-ever organisation of a US-ASEAN defence ministers’ meeting.
However, Vinh noted that the relationship still faces many difficulties related to trade barriers or differences in democracy and human rights issues.
The diplomat voiced that the year 2015 will be an important year for Vietnam-US relations, offering a good chance for the two sides to further spur their relations for the sake of the two peoples, as well as for peace and stability in the region and the world at large.
The primary and most important task for the year is how to further deepen the comprehensive partnership in all priority cooperation fields, especially economy, science-technology and education, so as to make breakthroughs in the areas, he stressed.
2015 will also mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations, he said, adding that the two sides should take the occasion to enhance mutual understanding among their people, thus promoting their bilateral ties.
Regarding the role of the Vietnamese community in the US, Vinh said about two million Vietnamese people – nearly half of overseas Vietnamese are living in the US and they always make positive contributions to the homeland’s development, as well as serve as a bridge linking the friendship and cooperation between the two peoples.