U.S. ready to boost economic ties with Vietnam after Obama’s $16 billion trip

By Toan Dao   May 25, 2016 | 09:31 pm PT
U.S. ready to boost economic ties with Vietnam after Obama’s $16 billion trip
Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama (R) in the official arrival ceremony on May 23. Photo by Reuters/Carlos Barria
The United States will continue to strengthen its commercial relationship with Vietnam following contracts worth more than $16 billion signed during President Obama’s trip that concluded on May 25, the White House said in a statement.

During Obama's visit, VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Co. and Boeing agreed a deal for 100 aircraft worth $11.3 billion, the largest ever single commercial airplane purchase in Vietnam's aviation history. VietJet Air also signed another $3.04 billion contract with engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney on May 23.

U.S.-Vietnam goods trade has increased nearly a hundredfold to $45 billion in 2015 from $451 million in 1995, the year the United States and Vietnam normalized diplomatic relations.

In 2015, U.S. exports to Vietnam grew by 23 percent, the largest year-on-year increase of exports to any of America’s top 50 export markets, the White House said. Vietnam was the second fastest growing of America’s top 50 export markets from 2010 to 2015.

U.S. export growth focused on integrated circuits, aircraft, cotton, dairy and other agricultural products. In the last five years Vietnam has developed an important role as a supplier of high-tech consumer products to the United States, the statement said.  

Trading between the two countries included small and family businesses and large firms. As of 2014, 6,031 small and medium American enterprises exported to Vietnam, while 5,895 imported Vietnamese goods. 

The White House said the United States employs a whole-of-government approach to support U.S. exports and investments in Vietnam. This includes programs that promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth, encourage legitimate and accountable governance while addressing trade barriers, support corporate social responsibility, and strengthen the rule of law and the business climate, according to the statement.

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