Vietnam-US bilateral trade relations are special and Vietnam is an important market to the US, said US Assistant Secretary of Commerce Suresh Kumar, in Ho Chi Minh City, on Sept. 19.

Kumar, who is also Director General of the US and Foreign Commercial Service, said the US-Vietnam trade relations have seen progress. In particular, since a bilateral trade agreement was signed in 2001, two-way trade rose from 2 billion USD to 18.6 billion USD in 2010, he said.

The US is the biggest export market for Vietnam, Kumar said, adding that the US consumes Vietnam’s goods more than any other markets despite being the country’s third-largest trade partner.

Kumar, who is also head of President Obama’s Trade Promotion Agency, reaffirmed one of important strategies in Obama’s National Export Initiative is to focus on trade promotion with top priority markets, including Vietnam.

Vietnam is defined as an important export market for US businesses, but that does not mean that the US wants to reduce Vietnam’s trade surplus with the US to balance bilateral trade, Kumar said.

In order to promote US exports to Vietnam, the key factor is the impetus from Vietnam’s market, he added.

A trade delegation from the US will visit Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in December to seek cooperative opportunities with Vietnamese partners, with a focus on business trademarks and franchises, he said.

On a number of difficulties and hindrances that Vietnamese goods and businesses meet when exporting to the US market, Kumar said Vietnamese businesses should contact US trade experts and commercial missions to grasp information on technical barriers and import and goods quality regulations of the US.

The US Commercial Affairs Service is always ready to assist Vietnamese businesses, the US trade official said./.