A plane of Vietnam Airlines. A regular commercial flight route between Việt Nam and the US that was officially established by Vietnam Airlines to promote trade co-operation between the two nations.— Photo courtesy of Vietnam Airlines
HÀ NỘI — Trade has become a pillar of the growing bilateral relationship between Việt Nam and the US, Vice Chairman of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Hoàng Quang Phong said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a forum on promoting Việt Nam - US trade in the new context, jointly organised by the VCCI, Business Forum Magazine and Vietnam Airlines in Hà Nội, Phong said that Việt Nam has been attractive to US businesses with a market of nearly 100 million consumers, positive growth, open policies, close connection with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) market and other major markets in the world thanks to a network of free trade agreements.
The forum was held on the occasion of a regular commercial flight route between Việt Nam and the US that was officially established by Vietnam Airlines to promote trade co-operation between the two nations.
Remarkable progress has been made since Việt Nam and the US normalised their relations, meeting the interests of the governments, people and business communities of the two countries, Phong said.
He said that despite the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and its complicated developments which disrupted the supply chains, 2020 was the first year that the total trade turnover between Việt Nam and the US has exceeded the US$90 billion benchmark, reaching $90.8 billion.
Việt Nam has become the 10th largest trading partner of the US, while the US is also the largest trading partner of Việt Nam. Việt Nam is one of the first countries in Asia to sign a trade agreement with the US.
Many commercial investment opportunities between the two countries will be opened up when there is a regular direct flight of Vietnam Airlines connecting the two countries, Phong said.
Việt Nam's export turnover to the US has increased by 230 per cent, while exports from the US to Việt Nam have also grown by more than 175 per cent over the past five years. Key Vietnamese products exported to the US are machinery, equipment, tools, and spare parts.
Participants at the forum exchanged views on issues related to the ways businesses can adopt to ensure their interests and tariff preferences when exporting to the US as well as matters that they should pay attention to meet high standards of product quality and dealing with technical barriers.
At the forum, Charles Ranado, Commercial Counselor of the US Embassy in Việt Nam, handed over a certificate of routine flight licence to Vietnam Airlines, making it the first and only airline of Việt Nam permitted to operate regular flights to the US at present. It is a prerequisite legal condition for Vietnam Airlines to set up direct services to the US.
The national flag carrier officially received a permit from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate non-stop commercial flight service between Việt Nam and the US.
Meanwhile, international special charter flights will be limited in terms of schedule, passengers and purpose. The flights are only allowed to operate within a specified period, and the airline has to re-apply for a new permit when the time frame expires.
The carrier said its first regular direct flight to the US is scheduled to take off on November 28, marking 20 years since it established a representative office in the US.
The flight lasting 13 hours and 50 minutes will leave HCM City and land in San Francisco. The return flight from San Francisco on November 29 (local time) will last for nearly 16 hours and 40 minutes. The flights will use wide-body Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
From December 2021, Vietnam Airlines will operate two flights per week between HCM City and San Francisco. It is expected to increase to seven flights once the pandemic is under control and the Vietnamese Government allows the resumption of regular international flights. — VNS