Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh at the talk in the University of Virginia. (Photo: Vietnamese Embassy to the US)

Washington (VNA) – Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh has highlighted the remarkable developments in relations between Vietnam and the US over the past two decades, as well as orientations for future bilateral ties at a talk in the University of Virginia in Virginia state.

Speaking in front of over 100 lecturers, students, scholars, researchers and social activists, the diplomat reviewed the two countries’ cooperation in overcoming war consequences as well as in economic development.

He noted that bilateral trade increased 80 times over the past 20 years to more than 40 billion USD in 2015. The US is now Vietnam’s seventh biggest investor with over 11 billion USD.

Cooperation achievements have also been seen in the fields of science-technology and education, he said, adding that more than 19,000 Vietnamese students are studying in US universities, including the University of Virginia.

The two sides have also enhanced their collaboration in foreign affairs and security and national defence, while stepping up their coordination at international forums, including those on international and regional issues like climate change, diseases, natural disasters and maritime security and safety, he said.

The ambassador stressed that the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership, which was established in 2013, and the visit to the US by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in July last year have served as foundations for the two countries to further enhance bilateral ties.

Currently, the two countries are preparing for the visit to Vietnam by President Barack Obama, scheduled for May, Vinh said.

He underlined the need for the two sides to foster their affiliation in areas specified in the framework of the comprehensive partnership, and on the basis of the principles of equality, mutually benefit and respect for each other’s interests and political institutions.

The ambassador suggested the US increase its support for Vietnam in surmounting war consequences, foster economic and trade ties, remove its technical barriers against Vietnam’s goods and recognise Vietnam as a market economy.

He also called for the US’s further collaboration in education, science-technology, climate change response and sustainable development in the Mekong River basin.

On this occasion, Vinh touched upon matters relating to the ASEAN Community, regional connectivity and maritime security and safety including the East Sea issue.

During the visit to the university, the ambassador held a meeting with US professors, where he talked about potential for cooperation between the university and Vietnam, especially in the training in the fields of public policy, international relations, science and technology.

He also lauded an advanced physics training programme jointly launched by the US university and Vietnam’s Hue University.

Prof. Allan Stam, Dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and other leaders of the University of Virginia expressed their hope that once the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement comes into force, it will bring about multiple opportunities for cooperation in various areas between the US and Virginia State in particular and Vietnam.

As part of his visit to the US university, Ambassador Vinh also met with a number of professors of Vietnamese origin, appealing to them to continue working as a bridge for education and training cooperation between the two countries.-VNA