VN-US to boost bilateral economic ties
Speaking at the summit, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said Viet Nam's main priorities in the years to come would include a robust economic recovery post-pandemic, the implementation of greener technologies, development of digital economy and mitigating the adverse effects of climate change.
Viet Nam considers the US as an important partner since the normalisation of bilateral relations in 1995, especially in economic cooperation. Since 1995, two-way trade between Viet Nam and the US has increased 250 times, from US$450 million in 1995 to a record $111 billion in 2021 despite the pandemic.
The US has become Viet Nam's largest export market and its second-largest trading partner while the South East Asian economy is the US' 9th largest trading partner. The two sides have ratified and implemented a number of key trade agreements including the Viet Nam-US Bilateral Trade Agreement in 2000, Viet Nam's permanent normal trade relations status with the US in 2006, the Viet Nam-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in 2007 and the Viet Nam-US Comprehensive Partnership in 2013.
The US is among the largest foreign investors (11 out of 141) in Viet Nam with close to 1,150 projects, totalling over $10.3 billion.
"I'm hopeful with the result of a 2021 survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in which some 80 per cent of its members show a positive attitude about doing business in Viet Nam in the medium and long term. In recent years, we have seen complementary relations between the two economies as well as the business communities on both sides," said the PM.
At the summit, US business leaders voiced their confidence in Viet Nam's potential for growth, especially in digital commerce and the creative economy.
The PM thanked the US for 29 million vaccine doses donated to Viet Nam as well as medical supplies and equipment. Viet Nam appreciates the support given by US businesses as well as the visit by US Vice President Kamala Harris during the pandemic.
He said Viet Nam was fully committed to a full reopening and to speed up economic recovery, especially after the country managed to vaccinate a vast majority of the population and acquired valuable lessons in disease control and prevention.
The country had seen success during the last quarter of 2021 with a GDP growth of 5.22 per cent after a period of negative growth. The first few months of 2022 have seen robust investment and export activities, stable macroeconomic factors and millions of people returning to work. The virus had been put under control. Despite a rising number of infections due to the Omicron variant, there had been fewer people requiring hospitalisation and significantly lower fatalities.
The Government had been working on a support package worth up to VND350 trillion or $15.32 billion to jumpstart the economy, invest in infrastructure development and provision for potential economic slowdowns.
"As one of the most affected countries by climate change, Viet Nam views actions to adapt and mitigate damage caused by climate change as a key objective in the years to come," the Prime Minister said. The country was fully committed to reducing greenhouse emissions and to raising awareness among the population. He asked the US and the international community for more support in the development of more environmentally-friendly policy, financing, technologies, management and human resources.
The Prime Minister said Viet Nam and the US shared many of the mentioned above issues. With a strong foundation of bilateral ties, he expressed hope that the two countries would work together to find solutions and to strengthen relations in a manner that is fair and harmonious built on mutual trust and sincerity.
US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and Chairwoman of the American Chamber of Commerce Virginia Foote said the US was impressed with the strong commitment shown at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) and the progress made by Viet Nam.
Kerry said Viet Nam had the potential to become a role model in adapting and coping with climate change.
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