Vietnam is a promising land for American businesses, US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said at a press conference in Hanoi on June 2 as part of her ongoing visit to Vietnam.

Pritzker pointed out that two-way trade between Vietnam and the US is 50 times higher than it was 20 years ago, when the two countries normalised their relations, hitting 30 billion USD last year from 225 million USD in 1994.

The US exported more than 5 billion USD worth of goods to Vietnam in 2013, up 8 percent over the previous year, while importing 24.6 billion USD worth of goods from the country, a rise of 21.6 percent compared to 2012, she noted.

Pritzker said her visit aims to promote the development of Vietnam’s hard and soft infrastructure system, including legal frameworks. She said US businesses also wish to cooperate more with ASEAN countries.

Vietnam has great advantages from taking part in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (PPP) which she claimed will benefit all participating parties.

She described TPP as the key trade deal of the 21 st century Asia-Pacific – a region that contributes up to 40 percent of the world GDP.

The current period, with negotiations for the deal entering the final stages, is a great time for businesses from the US to beef up their investment and seek opportunities in Vietnam, she said.

Pritzker said many US enterprises are keen on continuing expanding their businesses in Vietnam as well as ASEAN countries, despite the recent gloomy economic situation there.

US businesses see Vietnam and the 600 million-strong ASEAN as potential markets for their strong products like technology, energy, tourism, insurance and financial services, she added.

Answering reporters’ question on China’s illegal deployment of its oil rig and a large fleet of vessels to Vietnam’s waters, Pritzker said this is a provocative move that causes tension.

Currently, American enterprises have not been affected by the East Sea tension, she said, adding that the US encourages all parties to settle disputes peacefully through diplomatic methods based on international law.

The US’s task is to maintain peace and stability and assure navigation freedom and safety in the region, the official said.-VNA