Vietnam, US see ample room for cooperation: ambassador

By VNA   July 24, 2023 | 06:06 pm PT
Vietnam, US see ample room for cooperation: ambassador
Vietnamese ambassador to the U.S. Nguyen Quoc Dung (L) is with U.S. President Joe Biden, June 2022. Photo by Vietnam Government Portal
Vietnamese Ambassador to the U.S. Nguyen Quoc Dung believed the two nations' relationship will continue to reach new heights, serving their people's interests and contributing to regional and global development.

Speaking in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam-U.S. comprehensive partnership (July 25, 2013 – 2023), Dung stated that the highlight of the past decade was the bilateral ties' robust growth across all areas, including politics, diplomacy, economic and trade, culture, education, science-technology, health care, defense-security, and people-to-people exchanges. He said such growth truly reflects the meaning of a comprehensive partnership.

In politics and diplomacy, the most notable was the significant improvement in understanding and mutual respect. Both sides have shown respect for each other's independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political systems. Vietnam and the U.S. have maintained regular high-level exchanges and contacts.

Meanwhile, economic and trade relations have been the fastest and strongest growing pillar, serving as the driving force for the overall relationship. The sides’ bilateral trade increased more than fivefold, from US$25 billion in 2012 to nearly $139 billion in 2022. Vietnam has become the seventh largest trading partner of the U.S. worldwide.

Regarding people-to-people exchange, there are currently around 23,000 to 25,000 Vietnamese students studying in the U.S. annually, ranking first in Southeast Asia and fifth globally.

With an average of 800,000 U.S. tourist arrivals to Vietnam per year before the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. has been consistently placed in the top five sources of visitors to the Southeast Asian nation.

Dung noted that addressing the aftermath of the war remains a high priority and has achieved many specific results. Both sides have devoted significant resources and efforts to the search for and identification of the remains of fallen Vietnamese soldiers, dioxin detoxification (completed at Da Nang airport and ongoing at Bien Hoa airport), bomb and mine clearance, and support for people with disabilities and those affected by dioxin/Agent Orange. Vietnamese agencies have cooperated with the U.S. side to search for, identify, and repatriate the remains of 733 missing U.S. soldiers.

First, in politics and diplomacy, it is necessary to reinforce mutual understanding, increase exchanges at all levels, especially high level, and enhance the effectiveness of existing dialogue mechanisms.

Second, the sides should develop stable, sustainable economic, trade, investment, and scientific and technological relations, while minimizing trade defense actions. Additionally, they need to focus on cooperation in emerging and high-tech areas, such as the digital economy, green economy, circular economy, and maintaining the sustainability of supply chains.

Third, more attention should be paid to cultural and artistic exchanges as well as education and training in line with Vietnam's needs for high-quality human resources improvement. Attracting more U.S. tourists to Vietnam and supporting Vietnamese and Vietnamese-origin people in the U.S. are also important.

Fourth, the countries need to accelerate cooperation in addressing the war consequences because as time goes on, the conditions for remediation become more challenging.

Fifth, both sides should enhance their effective collaboration at multilateral forums, especially within the framework of the ASEAN - U.S. comprehensive strategic partnership and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). They should also team up in resolving global issues, particularly emerging ones like the environment, climate change response, and clean energy transition.

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