The visit by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to the US, scheduled for July 6-10, the first time a General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam has made a visit to the US, is of historic significance.

The visit takes place at a time important to Vietnam-US relations, as the two countries mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

During the visit, the two countries’ highest leaders will discuss future orientations for further developing their bilateral relations and deepening the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership, with a focus on the fields of investment, trade expansion and facilitation, education-training, science-technology, defence-security among others.

On the occasion, the Vietnamese Party leader will meet with Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon to look for measures promoting the ties between Vietnam and the UN, and other cooperation mechanisms within the UN.

Vietnam and the US normalised their relationship on July 12, 1995. The two countries signed a Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) in 2000. They set up their comprehensive partnership during President Truong Tan Sang’s official visit to the US in July 2013.

In July this year, former US President Bill Clinton, who officially declared the normalization of the relations between the two nations 20 years ago, has been in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to attend celebrations of the anniversary. This is a manifestation of the good will and trust in looking towards a brighter future of the Vietnam-US ties.

Over the last 20 years, the bilateral ties have made rapid and positive progresses in many fields.

The exchange of high-level visits and regular meetings between the two countries at multilateral forums contributed to strengthening mutual understanding and build trust between the two sides. Through visits, meetings and dialogues, both sides affirmed their desire to build a positive, friendly and constructive partnership, all-around cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefits.

The two countries have signed a number of documents and agreements, laying the foundation for stronger economic, trade and investment links. Two-way trade experienced a surge and became a key cooperation field in recent years, posting an annual average increase of over 20 percent in the last three years, and reaching 36 billion USD in 2014.

The US has become Vietnam’s largest export market this year. At the same time, the country’s total direct investment in Vietnam has come to nearly 11 billion USD, putting it at the seventh place among the biggest foreign investors in Vietnam at the moment.

At present, nearly 17,000 Vietnamese students are studying in the US. The project to establish a US-modeled university (Fulbright University) in Vietnam is being implemented. The US also continues to grant scholarships to Vietnamese students through the Fulbright scholarship programme and the Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF).

Medical cooperation is another key area, with the US selecting Vietnam as a priority country in the emergency supporting programme of HIV/AIDS prevention.

The two sides also work closely in implementing a project of climate change adaptation in mountainous and delta areas in 2013-2017 with an initial aid committed by the US at 17 million USD.

Recently, the US remarkably increased its efforts and expenses to address war consequences in Vietnam, prominently a project to detoxify Da Nang airport and others to remove unexploded ordnances.

Ties in security-defence have also been stepped up. Since 2010, the two countries have conducted defence policy dialogues at deputy ministerial level. In 2011, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on bilateral defence cooperation promotion.

The two countries also teamed up in rescue and search. In June this year, the two countries’ Defence Ministers inked a joint vision statement on bilateral defence relations.

They also closely coordinated at international forums such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+).

Regarding the East Sea issues, the US supports the policy of settling disputes through peaceful measures with respect for international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Declaration on Conduct of Parties on the East Sea (DOC).

The US visit by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong is another step in implementing the foreign policy of peace, independence, friendship, cooperation, multilateralization and diversification, deepening partnerships with other countries for the interest of each country and nation while contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world as a whole.-VNA