Lot more room for Vietnam-US trade to grow: PM Chinh

By Hoang Thuy   May 12, 2022 | 08:41 pm PT
Lot more room for Vietnam-US trade to grow: PM Chinh
Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaks at a meeting with U.S. business community, May 12, 2022. Photo by Nguyen Khanh
Though trade between Vietnam and US has grown significantly since the normalization of bilateral relations, it has yet to fulfill its potential, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has said.

Speaking Thursday at a meeting with U.S. business executives, he said bilateral trade is up 280 times to $112 billion since relations were normalized 27 years ago. The U.S. is Vietnam’s biggest export market and Vietnam is the U.S.’s ninth biggest trade partner.

The U.S. was Vietnam’s 11th biggest investor with a total of US$10 billion as of last year.

"However, this does not represent the true potential of the two. There is ample room for growth, and lots of things could be done to benefit the peoples of the two countries."

Vietnam has switched from a zero-Covid to safe adaptation policy after bringing the pandemic under control, resulting in 5-percent GDP growth in the first quarter as against negative growth last year.

Vietnam prioritizes creating favorable conditions for business, infrastructure, mitigating the effects of climate change, and administrative reform, he said.

Its economy is growing and needs international partners, he said.

"I am willing to discuss Vietnam’s economy with anyone in this world. We should cooperate on the basis of sincerity, trust and responsibility."

The executives asked him about cooperation in energy and digital transformation, investments in new sectors and projects to reduce carbon emissions in Vietnam.

Chinh said Vietnam has established a National Committee on Digital Transformation and is focusing on building databases for transformation.

It has also established a national steering committee for its commitments at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), but energy transformation remains a challenge, he said.

Ted Osius, a former U.S. ambassador to Vietnam and chairman of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, thanked the Vietnamese government and Chinh for supporting U.S. businesses.

They consider Vietnam a strategic market, and wish to contribute to its growth, especially in digital transformation, green transformation and healthcare development, he added.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said her agency eyes cooperation with Vietnam in sustainable agricultural systems and the digital economy.

Chinh is in the U.S. for the U.S.-ASEAN Summit, which marks 45 years of ties between the two sides and 27 years since the U.S. and Vietnam established diplomatic relations.

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