US Trade Representative: Clearly Seeing Spirit of Self-Reliance of Vietnam

Looking from history clearly shows the spirit of self-reliance of Vietnam. In the context of increasingly challenging world, Vietnam and the United States have the ability to find ways to overcome difficulties and obstacles together to continue to strongly promote cooperation between the two countries, said US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

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Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Photo: VGP
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Photo: VGP

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has suggested Vietnamese and US agencies work harder to promote economic, trade and investment ties between the two countries, VNA reported.

At a reception for US Trade Representative Katherine Tai in Hanoi, PM Chinh affirmed that Vietnam always attaches importance to its comprehensive partnership with the US, and expressed his delight at the strong, all-round development of the bilateral relations over the past time.

For her part, Tai spoke highly of her working sessions with Vietnamese ministries and agencies which took place in the active and constructive spirit, contributing to enhancing mutual understanding.

The guest noted her impression on the self-reliance of Vietnam and its people, as well as economic achievements the Southeast Asian nation has recorded, and expressed her belief in cooperation prospects between the two countries.

The US always considers Vietnam an important partner in the region, and wishes to strengthen cooperation with the country in economy, trade, labour, environment, digital commerce, agriculture and intellectual property, she said.

Tai briefed the PM on priorities and organisation plan for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Year 2023 to be hosted by the US, and potential and prospects of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), particularly in promoting high-quality investment, building self-reliant supply chains in the region, fostering sustainable, inclusive economic growth, addressing common challenges to the region, and utilising new development opportunities.

PM Chinh stressed that Vietnam wants to deepen the comprehensive partnership between the two countries in a more practical and stable manner, and on the basis of respecting independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political institutions of each other, for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

The two nations should expand cooperation in such areas as digital transformation, green transition, sustainable agriculture, energy transition and environmental protection, he said.

The leader also suggested the two sides work together to handle obstacles to their economic and trade ties, satisfactorily consider issues regarding trade remedy and anti-dumping investigation for mutual benefit, and facilitate Vietnam’s exports to the US.

For multilateral cooperation, the PM spoke highly of the US’s hosting APEC Year 2023, pledging that Vietnam will closely coordinate with the US and other APEC members to ensure the success of the event.

He stressed that economic initiatives, including IPEF, have ensured fair interests of countries, brought practical benefits to people and businesses, and contributed to maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

NA Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Hai (R) and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Photo: VNA
NA Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Hai (R) and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Photo: VNA

Meanwhile, National Assembly Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Hai has affirmed that Vietnam always considers the US one of its top important partners.

During a reception in Hanoi on February 15 for the US Trade Representative in Hanoi on February 15, Hai hailed the US’s support for a strong, independent and prosperous Vietnam.

Vietnam wishes to promote its comprehensive partnership with the US in a more practical and stable manner on the basis of respecting independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political regimes of each other, toward lifting bilateral relationship to a greater height, he said.

He added that Vietnam also welcomes the US’s strengthening of comprehensive and responsible cooperation with the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean. Vietnam stays ready to partner with the US in regional and global issues of shared concern, making contributions to peace, stability, cooperation and an order based on international law in the region, including maintaining freedom, safety, and security of navigation and overflight in the East Sea in accordance with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Hai stressed that Vietnam always values comprehensive partnership with the US, with economic-trade-investment-financial cooperation as a focus and important driving force.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and the US rose by 11% annually last year to over USD 123 billion. The US remains Vietnam’s biggest importer while Vietnam is the US’s ninth largest trade partner globally and biggest partner in ASEAN.

Vietnam will continue to maintain macroeconomic stability, ensure major balances of the economy, make comprehensive and synchronous economic reforms, improve the business environment to facilitate the expansion of foreign enterprises. Vietnam considers the area with foreign investment as an important component of the economy and encourages foreign firms to invest more in Vietnam, especially in fields where Vietnam has demand and businesses have strengths, he said.

He proposed the US continues holding dialogues with Vietnam on market economy issues (MES), while considering the application of market economy principles on a sectoral basis, and organising the next dialogue on this issue in the near future.

The host said Vietnam values the IPEF, stays ready to discuss with the US and other relevant countries towards building an open, comprehensive, balanced, flexible, and rules-based economic cooperation framework that meets legitimate and rightful interests of all parties concerned.

Congratulating the US’s hosting of APEC 2023, Hai said Vietnam supports the theme and priorities of APEC Year 2023 and agrees to enhance cooperation to accelerate economic recovery, comprehensive linkage and connectivity and sustainable growth, and maintain the role of APEC as the leading forum in the region for economic cooperation and connectivity. Vietnam also commits to close collaboration toward the success of APEC Year 2023.

He wished both sides would continue sharing opinions on issues of shared concern such as promoting a free, open and transparent trade environment, enhancing the empowerment of women; coping with climate change, developing the digital economy and training human resources.

Tai, for her part, affirmed that the US always considers Vietnam an important partner in the region.

She informed the host about priorities and plans for APEC Year 2023, the potential and prospects of IPEF for promoting high-quality investment, building resilient regional supply chains, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, addressing common regional challenges and seizing new development opportunities.

The guest stressed that Vietnam’s participation in the IPEF plays an important role in its success.

She also wished that both sides would continue stepping up bilateral economic and trade ties, and enhancing discussions on labour, environment, digital trade, agriculture and intellectual property.

Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Ha and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Photo: VNA
Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Ha and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Photo: VNA

The same day, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Ha has called on the US to enhance labour cooperation with Vietnam during a recent meeting with Tai.

She shared the viewpoint of putting workers at the centre of policy building and implementation.

Ha also suggested some cooperation activities such as increasing financial and technical assistance for Vietnam; sharing experience to help the country perfect and carry out laws and policies on labour relations, employment, vocational training, and social affairs; improving the capacity of training high-quality human resources; promoting assistance in terms of humanitarian and social affairs; and helping Vietnam develop a comprehensive and universal social security system that guarantees social equality and leaves no one behind.

At the working session, the US Trade Representative said via cooperation in labour and social affairs, the US always hopes to step up the enforcement of worker-centred policies and considers this as the core issue to create the best conditions for workers.

Tai noted the USTR and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) highly value Vietnam’s implementation of the Labour Code that includes many new and progressive points matching international labour standards.

This is a stepping stone for strengthening ties in labour and social affairs between Vietnam and the US, she went on, adding that her country always attaches importance to the respect for and the protection of workers’ rights, and US businesses have to show their role and sense of responsibility towards the adherence to labour rules in host countries.

In recent years, Vietnam has made much progress in the building and perfection of labour policies and international integration in this regard. Notably, the Vietnamese ministry and the ILO signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in 2021 to promote international labour standards in Vietnam for 2021 – 2030, during which the country is expected to ratify another 15 ILO conventions.

Luu Quang Tuan, Director of the ministry’s International Cooperation Department, said that within the framework of cooperation with the ILO, the US has been helping the ministry carry out some effective projects, including those on labour relations, technical support, and improvement of the child labour prevention and reduction capacity.

Via cooperation activities, many organisations, especially non-governmental ones from the US, have also helped deliver support to tens of thousands of people to surmount difficulties and integrate into society, he added.

During this trip, US Trade Representative Tai had productive meetings with Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien, Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, Minister of Information and Communication Nguyen Manh Hung, Minister of Public Security To Lam, on efforts to accelerate bilateral trade.

Hannah Nguyen