Anthony Nelson, Director of Albright Stonebridge Consulting Group (Source: albrightstonebridge.com)
Washington D.C. (VNA) – Vietnam will continue to be a very important partner of the US, Anthony Nelson, Director of Albright Stonebridge Consulting Group has said.

Nelson, who is also former director in charge of the issue of Vietnam of the US Business Council – ASEAN, made the remark in a recent interview to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Washington, on the occasion of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visit to the US from May 29-31.

He said this will be an opportunity for Vietnam to emphasise the importance of the relationship with the US.

He noted that the first visit of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to the US is also the first visit of leaders of ASEAN countries since the US has a new administration.

Therefore, this visit really important and highly iconic, he said, adding that this is an opportunity for the PM to emphasise Vietnam’s pioneering in ASEAN and the country’s role as a key economic and security partner of the US.

The visit also demonstrates the US’s recognition of the leadership role of Vietnam in the regional architecture, he said.

According to Anthony Nelson, bilateral trade has grown remarkably, but there are some concerns about the trade surplus with the US in Vietnam.

The US exports to Vietnam have increased dramatically over the years, higher than the other top trade partners of the US, he said.

Although the US has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, but a lot of progress has been achieved through negotiations.

It would be unfortunate if the two countries do not continue and they could formally propose a bilateral free trade agreement, he added.

Apart from economy and security, the public diplomacy between Vietnam and the US is also growing strongly, he said, citing that a large number of Vietnamese students are studying in the US and many have participated in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative.

Besides that, cooperation to mitigate the impact of climate change is an important issue for Vietnam, he said, adding there are many other cooperation spheres this year when Vietnam is hosting the APEC summit and has an important voice in ASEAN.

Vietnam has become a true leader in the region’s matters, he said, noting President Donald Trump’s commitment to attending the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Vietnam later this year is great and Vietnam should take this occasion to persuade the US to participate in all events of APEC and ASEAN.

Along with the history and the relations between their people, Vietnam and the US share the same interest in regional issues, and there are many areas of cooperation of mutual interest such as economy, freedom of transit, free trade and free flow of money services, he said.

He evaluated that the bilateral rapports will grow further in the coming time.-VNA