WASHINGTON (Bernama) – Vietnamese ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh said Vietnam and the US witnessed positive developments in their relations last year, creating an impetus for both countries to take their partnership to a higher level in 2015 and the coming years.
In a recent interview with Vietnam News Agency (VNA), Vinh highlighted achievements in Vietnam-US ties in the last few years, saying the comprehensive partnership established during President Truong Tan Sang’s visit to the US in July 2013 was an important framework for developing stronger ties.
“The results contributed significantly to pushing all-around ties especially in politics-diplomacy with a series of all-level visits last year,” he said.
The two countries have implemented 11 dialogue mechanisms in areas includingpolitics, security, defence, economy, democracy, human rights and labour. Economic cooperation has continued to be a bright spot in bilateral relations.
The US remains one of Vietnam’s leading economic partners and export markets with two-way trade estimated between US$35 billion and US$36 billion last year.
The US is now the seven largest foreign investor in Vietnam, pouring nearly US$10.7 billion in 700 projects.
The two countries are also proactively taking part in negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
Remarkable progress was seen in defence and security cooperation as evidenced by the US’ partial lifting of arms embargo against Vietnam.
The two sides exchanged visits by defence officials and expanded collaboration between their coast guards, and are deploying a US$18 million aid package funded by the US to help improve Vietnam’s maritime capacity.
Sci-tech cooperation made a breakthrough as a civil nuclear cooperation agreement took effect from Sept 10 last year, creating a great opportunity for the two countries to forge links in the area.
The US has also committed to working closely with Vietnam in dealing with the consequences of war, such as detoxification of dioxin-affected areas and providing medical assistance to people with disabilities.
Along with bilateral ties, the two countries have coordinated at regional and international multilateral forums, with the organisation of the first US-Asean defence ministers’ meeting.
Vinh said 2015 will be an important year for Vietnam-US ties which have potential to grow stronger for the sake of their citizens and for peace and stability in the region and the world at large.
The diplomat said the most important priorities this year are to boost cooperation in economy, science-technology and education “to achieve breakthroughs in these areas”.
The two countries will be celebrating their 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2015.