Washington DC (VNA) – Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc paid a working visit to Utah on July 13-14 to discuss ways to enhance cooperation between this state and Vietnamese partners and seek support in COVID-19 vaccine supply.
During the trip, Ngoc met with Utah officials, local businesses, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with representatives of the Brigham Young University and Vietnamese students there, and local media.
At the meetings, he affirmed that Vietnam treasures the cooperation with the US, highlighting the all-round strides in the two countries' comprehensive partnership.
He noted the mutual assistance in the COVID-19 combat and thanked the US for providing ventilators and, most recently – on July 10, two million doses of the Moderna vaccine for the Southeast Asian nation.
Vietnam attaches importance to relations with Utah and other US states and considers this one of the nine pillars in the comprehensive partnership, the ambassador emphasised.
He expressed his hope that Utah will keep seeking and optimising new and creative forms of cooperation in the areas it has potential for such as aviation, medicine – pharmacy, automation, high technology, and renewable energy so as to bring its relations with Vietnam to a new height.
For their part, Utah leaders, enterprises, associations, and organisations welcomed Ngoc's visit, which coincided with the 26th anniversary of the countries' diplomatic ties (July 12), noting that this was the first trip by an international partner to this state in 18 months since COVID-19 broke out in the US.
Lieutenant Governor of Utah Deidre Henderson and other representatives of the state's administration spoke highly of Vietnam's development achievements, noting that Utah pays attention to developing its relations with the country, a gateway linking it with Asia-Pacific and Southeast Asia.
She asked both sides to soon resume exchange and trade promotion, firstly via online, and consider tourism and aviation cooperation such as opening a direct air route between Vietnam and Salt Lake City International Airport.
Highly valuing Vietnam's development potential, some Utah businesses voiced their hope for partnering with the country in restoring marine ecosystems, installing detection and early warning systems for vessels at sea and in large rivers, and opening "business incubators" to connect financial and technological companies of Utah with Vietnam.
Meanwhile, the Brigham Young University (BYU) shared the encouraging outcomes in the educational cooperation with Vietnamese partners, including a memorandum of understanding with the Vietnamese Government's Committee for Religio us Affairs, adding that it is ready to welcome more students from Vietnam.
Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints thanked the Vietnamese Government for facilitating its activities in the country, affirming that its followers have complied with the religious doctrine as well as the Constitution and law of Vietnam and contributed to the society.
They added that they will work to help seek vaccine supply for Vietnam.
In an interview granted to the BYU Radio in Provo city, Ambassador Ngoc underlined efforts to turn Vietnam and the US from former foes into friends and partners, affirming that Vietnam always wants peace, independence, self-reliance, territorial integrity, self-determination and is also ready to share its reconciliation experience with other countries./.
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