Hanoi (VNA) – The current trends in economic and trade cooperation between Vietnam and the US guarantee big growth in two-way trade and investment in 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 (July 2013 – 2023), 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 138.9 billion USD. 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.
The business mission to Vietnam last March was the biggest ever in decades coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the comprehensive partnership with a total of 52 companies looking for sales, sourcing, and investment opportunities, according to Osius.
The delegation was welcomed by top leaders of Vietnam including Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue, Chairman of the Central Party Committee's Commission on Economic Affairs Tran Tuan Anh, and key stakeholders across several ministries and agencies.
The Vietnamese leaders rolled out the red carpet for them, patiently listened to all the companies' concerns, and provided detailed, thoughtful answers as to how those concerns would be addressed and who was responsible for follow-up action, Osius noted.
Meanwhile, USABC reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Vietnam's efforts in maintaining macro-economic stability and resilience and its support for Vietnam's digital transformation strategy and green energy transition. Its members proposed new areas of cooperation and highlighted ongoing initiatives in various sectors including agriculture, aerospace, energy, healthcare, logistics, tourism, digital economy, financial services, defencee, innovation, and creative economy in Vietnam.
"The large number of companies participating in the business mission shows how US companies have high confidence in growth prospects and government leadership of Vietnam, despite projected headwinds this year in the Vietnamese economy and the global economy caused by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia," he said.
The USABC leader said both sides will see the continued strong trend in expansion of global manufacturing hub and supply chains in Vietnam in semiconductor, FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), toys, furniture, food and agriculture, digital economy, creative economy, financial and banking services, and healthcare.
They are starting to see Vietnamese companies investing in US, such as Vinfast, An Phat and Sovico, which are also big customers of US companies.
"All these trends guarantee big growth in two-way trade and investment in next 10 years and warrant upgrading the partnership to a strategic level," he opined, adding that a strategic partnership would, among other things, further open government procurement to companies in both countries and accelerate development of key sectors such as energy, digital economy, healthcare, defence and so on.
In the interview, Osius also highlighted the two countries' cooperation in health, science and technology, education, and aerospace, defense and security.
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 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, 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.
The aerospace, defence, and security sector is seeing renewed interest on both sides. Talks between the US industry and Vietnamese counterparts are taking place more frequently. Besides, it still needs a lot of work to get both sides to understand each other's processes, according to Osius./.
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