Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — With or without the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, trade between Việt Nam and the US would continue to rise, a conference heard in HCM City yesterday.
Speaking at “Việt Nam-US Trade Interaction after 2016,” Lê Thanh Liêm, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee, said the two countries enjoyed average trade growth of more than 19 per cent a year for the past 10 years.
The US is Việt Nam’s largest export market, he said.
According to Mary Tarnowka, the US consul general in the city, bilateral trade nearly tripled in the last eight years and now tops US$45 billion.
US exports to Việt Nam surged 44 per cent in the first half of this year, making Việt Nam the fastest growing export market for the US.
“The US is encouraged by Việt Nam’s recent resolution on international economic integration, reaffirming Việt Nam’s intention to continue its economic reforms and further open its economy, with or without TPP.
“This resolution is an important signal to trading partners that Việt Nam is moving to establish a level playing field for US companies looking to invest and compete in Việt Nam.”
These reforms would promote fair, transparent and predictable regulatory systems that enable innovation, attract trade and investment and promote Việt Nam’s continued integration into the regional and global supply chains, she said.
"Việt Nam is already the 11th largest export market for US agricultural products," she said.
“We can continue to promote these exports. We can also take steps to meet Việt Nam’s growing demand for state of the art agricultural technology and equipment, as the country strives to improve food safety and develop its food processing industry.”
She also spoke about co-operation between the two countries in other sectors like education and travel as well as US support for Việt Nam’s preparations for the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and others.
Lê Quốc Ân, former president of the Việt Nam Textile and Apparel Association, said the TPP would enable Vietnamese firms to boost exports to the US.
“However, there is no problem if there is no TPP. Our exports to the US were still very good [in the past] without the TPP.”
He also urged businesses to make more efforts to offer products and services of the best quality to global consumers, especially those in the US, to boost their exports.
Delegates agreed that whoever is president of the US, Việt Nam would continue to develop and integrate.
Trần Ngọc Châu, vice president of the Việt Nam-US Friendship Association’s HCM City chapter, said: “We believe trade between Việt Nam and US will reach $57 billion in the next five years, with exports from the US doubling from now, whether the TPP comes into being or not.”
Liêm said HCM City has welcomed many large US companies seeking opportunities arising from the country’s deeper integration.
“The US currently ranks 11th among countries and territories investing in Việt Nam, and I hope the US will soon become the city’s largest foreign investor.”
Lê Hoài Quốc, director of the Saigon Hi-Tech Park, the largest technology cluster in Việt Nam, was optimistic that US tech companies like Intel would continue to grow their business in Việt Nam irrespective of the TPP.
“Intel is increasing its products and volumes of productions in the high-tech zone. In 2016 its exports from Việt Nam will reach $4 billion.”
Organised by the Việt Nam-US Friendship Association, the conference attracted around 200 delegates, including diplomats, policy makers, entrepreneurs and economists. — VNS