Fri. Jul 1st, 2022

State President Truong Tan Sang’s upcoming official visit to the US from
July 24-26 will make a move forward in Vietnam’s ties with the US,
which have seen strong developments across many fields since the two
countries normalised their relations in 1995.

The visit, made at the invitation of US President Barack Obama, will
be a good chance for the leaders to outline major orientations for
bilateral ties to grow further.

Politically, senior leaders
exchanged five high-ranking visits including the Vietnam visits by
President Bill Clinton in 2000 and President George Bush in 2006, and
the US visits by Prime Minister Phan Van Khai in 2005, President Nguyen
Minh Triet in 2007 and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in 2008.

Following these visits, the two countries have agreed to pursue a
friendly, constructive, and multifaceted cooperative partnership on the
basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit.

Economically,
the two countries signed a series of agreements, notably the Bilateral
Trade Agreement, which took effect in 2001. Two-way trade has since
increased yearly and the US has been Vietnam’s largest importer since
2005.

In 2012, bilateral trade fetched up 24.5 billion USD,
rising by 14 percent over 2011. In the first five months of 2013, the
figure hit 11 billion USD, a year on year increase of 16 percent.

By May 2013, the US’s foreign direct investment (FDI) into Vietnam
reached 10.5 billion USD in 658 projects, ranking the country seventh
among foreign investors in Vietnam.

Bilateral security and
defence ties have been further, assisted by the deputy ministerial level
defence policy dialogue, which started in 2010, and a memorandum of
understanding on defence cooperation signed in 2011.

Vietnam
continues to actively become involved in programmes on English language
training and military medicine cooperation, welcome US naval ships, and
allow the US Pacific Command to carry out humanitarian programs in
Vietnamese localities. Meanwhile, research and rescue cooperation have
also been enhanced.

Vietnam and the US established the Joint
Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation and are advancing
an ‘exemplary partnership’ in researching climate change and ways to
deal with climate change and sea level rise consequences.

On
education, around 16,000 Vietnamese students and postgraduates are
studying in the US. Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training and the
US Department of Education signed a memorandum of understanding on
setting up a special educational group to promote tertiary education
cooperation.

The signing of a cooperation agreement on
healthcare and science has provided a legal foundation for the two
countries’ relevant agencies to establish and expand their linkages.

Regarding the Agent Orange/dioxin issue, the US Government has
given out 79.5 million USD for detoxification, 11 million USD in medical
assistance for people with disabilities, including AO/dioxin victims,
and 54 million USD for purifying dioxin-contaminated Da Nang airport, in
Vietnam, during 2007-2013.

Since 1999, the US Department of
State has funded equipment to locate and defuse unexploded bombs, mines
and ordnance left over from the war in the country worth around 12
million USD.

President Sang’s upcoming visit comes at a time
when the two countries’ cooperation in economics, trade, investment,
science and technology and education is growing steadily.

It
will demonstrate Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence,
self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development, as well as
multilateralisation and diversification of international relations and
active international integration. It also reflects the country’s desires
to continue bolstering external ties to maintain peace and stability to
serve the national construction and defence.-VNA

By vivian