Vietnam, US to augment ties in economy-trade investment, defence hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) meets with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in Washington DC on May 23 (Photo: VNA)

Washington DC (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh had meetings with several US officials in Washington DC on May 23 as part of his official visit to the North American nation.

Talking to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Minh affirmed that Vietnam has been improving its investment climate, and it encourages US companies to invest and do business in the country. He also proposed that the two sides continue handling issues of shared concern in the spirit of promoting win-win trade.

Secretary Mnuchin agreed to keep fostering economic, trade and investment ties, considering these as a foundation for the two countries’ relations. He also appreciated Vietnam’s active sharing of information and settlement of some priority economic-financial issues.

At another meeting, the Vietnamese official and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross reviewed the progress in bilateral economic-trade links. 

To support the upward trend of these partnerships, they agreed to continue optimising available cooperation mechanisms, including the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, while negotiating new, stable and long-term economic-trade frameworks that match the characteristics and scale of the two countries’ economic ties and overall relations.

Meeting with Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Minh appreciated the US Department of Defence for allocating part of its budget for the dioxin remediation project at Bien Hoa airbase, which was officially launch in April this year.

The two sides agreed to further enhance cooperation under the 2011 memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation and the 2015 joint vision statement on defence cooperation, including in marine security, unexploded ordnance clearance, the Bien Hoa airbase dioxin remediation project, support for Agent Orange/dioxin victims, and search for Vietnamese soldiers missing in action.

The Vietnamese official also met with Eliot Engel, Chairman of the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs. Engel emphasised his support for the two countries’ comprehensive partnership, affirming that the US congress will continue supporting budget allocation for cooperation with Vietnam in war consequence settlement, especially the Bien Hoa airbase dioxin remediation project and supporting persons with disabilities.

He noted that the US congress pays attention to the East Sea situation and supports the maintenance of freedom, safety and security of navigation and aviation, as well as the peaceful handling of disputes on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Receiving Executive Vice President of the AES Corp. Gustavo Pimenta, Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Minh reiterated that the Vietnamese Government always creates the best possible conditions for US businesses to operate, especially in the field of energy. He expressed his belief that the AES’s investment projects in Vietnam will be successful and help attract more projects of US firms to the Southeast Asian nation.-VNA