US Names Vietnam as Key Partner in Region

In 2023, Vietnam and the United States will celebrate 10 years since the start of their comprehensive partnership, an important milestone in the two countries' relationship.

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Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Foreign Affairs Le Hoai Trung shakes hand with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Source: U.S. Department of State
Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Foreign Affairs Le Hoai Trung shakes hand with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Source: U.S. Department of State

Vietnam attaches importance to relations with the US and wants to continue developing the ties for the benefit of their people, and for peace, friendship, cooperation, and development in the region and the world, Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Foreign Affairs Le Hoai Trung has said.

Trung made the statement at meetings with US officials during his working visit to the US from June 28 to July 2 at the invitation of the US Department of State.

In Washington D.C, the Vietnamese delegation had working sessions with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Samantha Power, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink, Deputy Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Sasha Baker, President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC).

Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Foreign Affairs Le Hoai Trung has a working session with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: VNA
Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Foreign Affairs Le Hoai Trung has a working session with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: VNA

They also met with former US officials and senators who support the development of Vietnam – US relations.

In New York, the delegation worked with UN Under-Secretary-General for Policy Guy Ryder, and had an online discussion with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. They also had meetings with long-standing friends of Vietnam in the US, and representatives of the US Communist Party.

During the meetings, both sides agreed that the Vietnam – US Comprehensive Partnership has witnessed robust, positive, and comprehensive development across fields in recent years.

The US officials affirmed that the US considers Vietnam one of its key partners in the region, agreeing that the bilateral relations have enjoyed support from both the Democratic Party and Republican Party.

They valued the recent contacts and meetings between the two sides, particularly the high-level phone talks between General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong and President Joe Biden in March 2023.

Vietnam is One of Key Partners of US in Region
Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Foreign Affairs Le Hoai Trung and Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Samantha Power. Photo: VNA

They emphasised the desire to maintain exchanges and meetings at all levels, especially at the high-level, during the year marking the 10th founding anniversary of the Comprehensive Partnership; and deepen the bilateral relations, especially in terms of economic cooperation, climate change response, green energy, education – training, tackling war consequences, people-to-people exchanges, and addressing global issues.

Meanwhile, the UN official acknowledged and applauded Vietnam’s successful development, cooperation, and contributions within the framework of the UN, hoping that Vietnam will further enhance its important role in addressing global issues.

The US friends and representatives of the Communist Party of the US showed their pleasure with Vietnam’s renewal achievements and the path to socialism in the Southeast Asian nation, affirming that they always support Vietnam and the development of the Vietnam-US relationship.

For his part, Trung suggested the two sides continue promoting high-level exchanges and meetings, improving the efficiency of cooperation via the Party, state and people-to-people diplomacy channels in line with the results of the phone talks between General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Joe Biden.

The Vietnamese official affirmed that Vietnam treasures the role played by the UN and will continue to actively and responsibly contribute to the organisation’s activities.

Trung also expressed his gratitude to US friends who have always supported Vietnam in the struggles for national liberation in the past. He also proposed directions to strengthen cooperation with the US Communist Party and socio-political organisations between the two sides in the coming time.

The current trends in economic and trade cooperation between Vietnam and the US guarantee big growth in two-way trade and investment in the next 10 years and warrant upgrading the partnership to a strategic level, said Ted Osius, President and CEO of the US – ASEAN Business Council (USABC).

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency ahead of the 10th anniversary of the two countries’ comprehensive partnership, the former US Ambassador to Vietnam said trade and investment play a big role in this relationship. The US is Vietnam’s second-largest trading partner and biggest export destination.

In 2022, bilateral trade reached a record high of USD 138.9 billion. Vietnam was the 8th largest trade partner and the largest ASEAN exporter of the US. The US was the biggest export market of Vietnam last year. Vietnam’s annual export to the US has grown almost 20% every year for the last 10 years.

In terms of health, the US has provided tuberculosis health assistance for Vietnam since 2004. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it supplied 40 million doses of vaccine for the Southeast Asian nation, which did its part to provide the US with masks and personal protective equipment. This is another where the countries see a continuing area of collaboration as important to both countries.

Regarding science and technology, they recently had a joint committee meeting to discuss huge issues such as space cooperation and cooperation in high-tech areas like AI, and biotechnology.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has moved up in the rankings to be the 5th largest sender of foreign students to the US, he said, considering this as a remarkable statement about the commitment of Vietnamese students and parents wanting their kids to be educated in the US.

Hannah Nguyen