Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) receives US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Hanoi on May 20 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The official visit from May 29-31 will be the first trip to the US by Nguyen Xuan Phuc as Prime Minister of Vietnam and also the first time a Vietnamese senior leader will meet with US President Donald Trump since the countries had new leaders.

The visit aims to continue carrying out Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation of foreign relations, and proactive and active integration into the world. It is also set to bring into play the attained outcomes and foster Vietnam-US cooperation

Vietnam and the US established diplomatic ties on July 12, 1995. A Consulate General of the US was opened in Ho Chi Minh and another of Vietnam was set up in San Francisco in November 1997.

Positive strides have been recorded in bilateral relations in all spheres since the countries established a comprehensive partnership in July 2013 on the basis of respecting each other’s territorial integrity, political regime and development path, for the sake of their own interests and for regional peace, stability and development cooperation.

Delegation exchanges have been increased in recent years. Vietnamese leaders visiting the US included Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (July 2015), National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung (September 2015). President Truong Tan Sang attended the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung attended the special ASEAN-US Summit in February 2016. There have also been many US delegations touring Vietnam such as the trips by President Barack Obama (May 2016), Secretary of State John Kerry (January 2017), and Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter (June 2015).

Over the past years, the US has become one of the leading trade partners of Vietnam. Bilateral trade has continually grown by about 20 percent each year. Despite a trade deficit with Vietnam, the US has enjoyed a rapid export growth rate of 77 percent annually, four times higher than the growth of Vietnam’s shipments to the US.

With 815 projects with total registered capital of 10.07 billion USD, the US ranks eighth among 112 countries and territories directly investing in the Southeast Asian nation. On March 27-28, 2017, the two countries restarted the technical meeting of the Council on Bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.

Both sides have also intensified cooperation in security, defence, science, technique, information technology, bio-technology, oceanography, and space technology.

During a Vietnam visit by President Barack Obama in May last year, the two sides issued the joint announcements on partnership in climate change and wildlife trafficking combat. Accordingly, the US will support Vietnam with 60 million USD to cope with climate change and another 10 million USD to fight wildlife trafficking in five years.

Regarding education, there are more than 31,000 Vietnamese students and apprentices in the US at present, turning Vietnam into the sixth biggest source of foreign students in the US. The Fulbirght University Vietnam has been actively implemented while first moves have been made to carry out the Peace Corps programme, which allows US volunteers to teach English in Hanoi and HCM City.

The number of US tourists to Vietnam reached 552,700 in 2016, a year-on-year rise of 12.8 percent.

Bilateral coordination has been enhanced at many multilateral organisations and forums to which both countries are members such as the UN, ASEAN, East Asia Summit, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus.

The two countries have also worked together in global issues such as climate change response, food security, energy and water resources, trans-national crime and terrorism fight, and prevention of weapons of mass destruction proliferation.

They have maintained annual dialogues on human rights with straightforward and constructive spirit, not letting differences hamper the development of their relations.-VNA