Vietnam and the US need to keep bringing bilateral ties to new heights, including maritime cooperation, search and rescue, humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

Prof. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, Chairwoman of the Vietnam – US Friendship Association in HCM City, made the remark at a get-together on July 5 to mark the 236 th Independence Day of the US (July 4).

Phuong said 17 years after Vietnam and the US declared normal diplomatic relations, the two countries have witnessed practical and fruitful improvements in their cooperation in security and defence, economics, trade, investment, science-technology, education and training, climate change adaptation and infrastructure development in Vietnam .

The US now ranks sixth among the countries and territories investing in Vietnam with a total capital of 11.65 billion USD. Two-way trade hit 21.45 billion USD last year, up 19 percent from 2010.

At the event, a number of non-governmental organisations and businesses presented over 2.6 billion VND to charitable groups, plus War Veterans’ Association and the Vietnam Fatherland Front chapter in Can Gio district. The sum is intended to assist children with disabilities, offer wheelchairs to war veterans and build houses for the poor.

On the occasion, the Hong Bang International University also granted scholarships, each worth 20 million VND, to 20 poor and excellent students in the city.-VNA