According to Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc, there are 3 highlights in the relationship. Firstly, the two sides have overcome difficulties to set up comprehensive partnership with respect for the United Nations Charter, and respect for each other's independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political institutions. These principles have been reflected throughout the areas of cooperation between the two countries. The two sides have made many high-level visits, adopted important joint statements and agreements, and set up mechanisms and frameworks for bilateral and multilateral dialogues.
Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc (Photo: VNA)
Secondly, the Vietnam-US cooperation has reached a level that no one could have imagined 25 years ago. Not only political and diplomatic relations, the two sides have reported remarkable results in cooperation in terms of economics, trade, investment, security, national defense, education, culture, people-to-people exchange, science and technology; from bilateral and regional fields, to global cooperation.
Economic-trade-investment cooperation has become a focus and an important driving force for the development of bilateral relations over the past 25 years. Two-way goods trade has increased by more than 170 times, from USD450 million in 1995 to USD77.6 billion in 2019. The US is currently the largest export market of Vietnam and Vietnam is the US’ highest growth export market among Southeast Asian partners.
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, two-way trade in the first 6 months this year still increased by nearly 10% compared to 2019. US businesses continue to pay attention to and expand investment in Vietnam, while more and more Vietnamese businesses are interested in investing in the US. Security-defense relations witnessed solid developments, not only in dealing with the aftermath of the war, but also in military medical training, humanitarian relief, disaster assistance, and peacekeeping.
For the first time, the US Government provided funding assisting Vietnam in finding missing soldiers from during the war. Vietnam twice welcomed a U.S. aircraft carrier for official visits in 2018 and 2020. The two sides continue to expand security cooperation in areas such as information sharing, capacity building to combat terrorism, cyber security, and water security.
In addition, people-to-people contacts are constantly being strengthened, with more than 800,000 US tourists annually choosing Vietnam as a destination, and more than 31,000 Vietnamese students studying in the US, ranking first among Southeast Asian countries. Currently, the two sides also actively cooperate in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and gradually recovering the economy after the pandemic.
Thirdly, Vietnam-US relations are not only meaningful to the two countries, but also contribute positively to the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation and respect for laws in the Indian Ocean - Asia - Pacific and the world. The two countries have been actively coordinating to handle international and regional issues, including important issues such as the East Sea, Mekong, the Korean Peninsula, ASEAN forums, APEC and UN. This year, this cooperation is even more evident when Vietnam is the Chairman of ASEAN and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
To further promote the relationship between the two countries, according to Ambassador Ngoc, Vietnam and the US are continuing to promote cooperation on all 9 pillars of the comprehensive partnership.
Currently, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the two sides maintain their cooperation momentum and also expand into some new areas such as epidemic prevention. diseases, supply of medical equipment, and establishment of a stable and effective supply chain. The US side highly appreciates Vietnam's healthcare system and epidemic prevention. The Government of Vietnam and many localities, businesses, organizations and individuals have donated protective and medical equipment to the US Government and the Vietnamese community in the US.
The US Government has provided Vietnam with more than USD10 million to help pandemic prevention and economic recovery. US President Donald Trump also announced giving a breathing machine to Vietnam. In particular, as Chairman of ASEAN 2020, Vietnam has cooperated to promote health cooperation activities between the US and ASEAN, including exchanging information and experiences, and improving COVID-19 prevention capacity.
One of the top priorities now is to ensure the positive development trend of economic - trade - investment cooperation, to actively support the economic recovery process of the two countries. The Vietnamese Government is committed to continuing to improve the business investment environment in Vietnam, as well as creating favorable conditions for US businesses, so that the US will become the leading investor in Vietnam in the near future./.