National Assembly Chairman leaves for US visit hinh anh 1National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung (Source: VNA)
National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung left Hanoi on August 29 for an official visit to the US from September 3-9.

Before the visit, he will attend the fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament running from August 31-September 2 in New York.

These activities come at the invitation of President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Saber Chaudhury, President pro tempore emeritus of the Senate Patrick Leahy, Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator John McCain.

The largest-ever World Conference of Speakers of Parliament is expected to attract more than 150 leaders of parliaments, Senates and Houses of Representatives from over 140 countries, as part of activities towards the UN Summit slated for September 25-27.

During the event, Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung will deliver a speech at a general session, chair a thematic session on sustainable development, and bilaterally meet parliamentary leaders of countries.

The attendance reflects the Party and State’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation of ties and international integration.

It will also manifest the Vietnamese NA’s role in bilateral and multilateral parliamentary channels with its active and responsible involvement in IPU conferences and forums following Vietnam’s successful hosting of IPU-132.

Vietnam and the US established their comprehensive partnership during the US’s visit by President Truong Tan Sang in July 2013.

Since 2005, the US has become the largest importer of Vietnamese commodities, spending 36.6 billion USD in 2014. Two-way trade between the two nations has topped 20 percent over the past three years with trade surplus in favour of Vietnam.

The US’s direct capital inflows into Vietnam remain modest, approaching 11 billion USD and ranking seventh.

In 2014, over 16,000 Vietnamese students and trainees sought education in the US, becoming the largest student community among Southeast Asian nations and the eighth largest globally.

Educationally, Vietnam has licensed the building of the US’s Fulbright University. The US, for its part, annually grants scholarships to Vietnamese students via Fulbright or the Vietnam Education Foundation.

Over 400,000 Americans travelled to Vietnam in 2014, becoming Vietnam’s fourth largest tourism market behind China, the Republic of Korea and Japan and contributing 500 million USD to the country’s tourism industry revenue.

In 2013, Vietnam and the US signed a new agreement on health and medical sciences cooperation. Vietnam already received 67.9 million USD in cash and 25.5 million USD in kind from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief initiative.

Under a joint statement reached in July 2013, the US committed its support to those living with disabilities in Vietnam irrespective of causes.

On the Agent Orange/dioxin recovery efforts, the US approved up to 84 million USD for the clean-up of AO-contaminated areas around Da Nang airport and 11 million USD for health care designed for the handicapped, including AO/dioxin victims for the 2014-2016 perid.

In December 2013, the two nations signed a memorandum of understanding on joint response to leftover bomb and mine consequences. The total US’s aid for Vietnam in this cause through non-governmental organisations amounted to 104 million USD in 1993-2005.

On scientific-technology partnership, an agreement on the use of nuclear power for peaceful purpose was signed and adopted. The US’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology inked a joint statement on outer space research cooperation.

Close mutual support has continued at regional forums, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Community, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting and the East Asia Summit.

Ties between the two legislatures have been strengthened through exchanges of visits by leaders and senior officials.

The Vietnamese NA established the Vietnam – US Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group in 2004 which is currently headed by Chairman of the NA Law Committee Phan Trung Ly for the 2011-2016 tenure.

The US-Vietnam Congressional Caucus, founded in 2004, was chaired by Congressmen Rob Simmons and Lane Evans for the 2004-2006 tenure, and Earl Blumenauer and Russ Carnahan for the 2006-2007 tenure.

During the visit, which coincides with the 20 th anniversary of diplomatic ties, the Vietnamese leader is scheduled to engage in bilateral activities with US top law-makers, and meet with President of the World Bank Jim Yong-kim, several US businesses and Vietnamese community in the host country.-VNA