Vietnam, US enhance relationship

A senior delegation from the Vietnamese Government, headed up by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh, paid an official visit to the US from Feb. 7-11.
A senior delegation from the Vietnamese Government, headed up by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh, paid an official visit to the US from Feb. 7-11.

While in Washington , Deputy PM Ninh met separately with President pro-tempore of the US Senate Daniel Inouye, Senator Jim Webb, US Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, World Bank (WB) President Robert Zoellick and Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Naoyuki Shinohara.

At the meetings, both parties said they are pleased at the development of Vietnam-US ties in recent times and discussed ways of boosting bilateral ties in several areas, especially in trade, investment, science and technology, education and training.

Deputy PM Ninh recommended that the US Government recognises Vietnam's market economy in the near future; grant Vietnam access to the country’s Generalized System of Preference (GSP), and most importantly remove trade barriers imposed on key Vietnamese exports such as “tra” and “basa” fish, shrimp, honey and wind turbine towers.

He asked the US to continue with progress in helping Vietnam to deal with remaining war issues, especially projects to clean-up the environment and support Agent Orange victims.

The Vietnamese Deputy PM underlined Vietnam ’s active international integration policies and said that the country will continue to negotiate positively with the US and other partners on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. He also asked the US to ensure Vietnamese interests during TPP negotiations.

The US replied that it is keen to enhance ties with Vietnam towards strategic partnership, and will to continue step up cooperation in trade, investment, science-technology, education and training, as well as working closely with Vietnam at multilateral, regional forums, including ASEAN, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the East Asia Summit (EAS).

They also expressed hope that both parties will soon solve the outstanding difficulties with certain trade links and join in efforts to complete negotiations for the TPP.
The WB and IMF officials stated that Vietnam is one of their leading partners and said that they are pleased with the relationship they have with the country.

They acknowledged that the WB and IMF have supported the Vietnamese Government’s measures to control inflation and stabilise the macro-economy while restructuring the overall economy, agreeing that Vietnam needs to continue with those measures in 2012.

They stated that they believe Vietnam ’s economy will develop positively and pledged to step up cooperation with Vietnam bilaterally and multilaterally.

The WB leader asked the Vietnamese government to speed up the disbursement of capital to projects with support from the WB under the WB-funded Financial Sector Assessment Programme.

While in Washington , Deputy Ninh also attended talks on Vietnam-US economic relations with the heads of several major US groups, who acknowledged Vietnam ’s efforts to stablise its macro-economy and said they were optimistic about the prospect of increased investment and trade with Vietnam .

The Deputy PM discussed Vietnam’s key development policies for the near future and pledged to continue to create the best possible environment for foreign investors, including those from the US./.

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