Việt Nam, US see ample room for cooperation: ambassador

July 25, 2023 - 12:14
In politics and diplomacy, the most notable was the significant improvement in understanding and mutual respect. Both sides have shown respect for each other's independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political systems. Việt Nam and the US have maintained regular high-level exchanges and contacts.


Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Nguyễn Quốc Dũng (left) speaks to Vietnam News Agency. — VNA/VNS Photo

WASHINGTON — Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Nguyễn Quốc Dũng believed the relationship between Việt Nam and the US will continue to reach new heights, serving the interests of their people and contributing to maintaining peace, stability, security, cooperation, and development in the Asia-Pacific region and the world.

Expressing the belief in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Việt Nam-US comprehensive partnership (July 25, 2013 – July 25, 2023), the diplomat stated that the highlight of the past decade was the bilateral ties’ robust growth across all areas, including politics, diplomacy, economic and trade, culture, education, science-technology, health care, defence-security, and people-to-people exchanges. He said such growth truly reflects the meaning of a comprehensive partnership.

In politics and diplomacy, the most notable was the significant improvement in understanding and mutual respect. Both sides have shown respect for each other's independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political systems. Việt Nam and the US have maintained regular high-level exchanges and contacts.

US President Bill Clinton announced the normalisation of diplomatic ties with Việt Nam at the White House on July 11, 1995. — Photo courtesy of the White House

Meanwhile, economic and trade relations have been the fastest and strongest growing pillar, serving as the driving force for the overall relationship. The sides’ bilateral trade increased more than fivefold, from US$25 billion in 2012 to nearly $139 billion in 2022. Việt Nam has become the seventh-largest trading partner of the US worldwide.

Regarding people-to-people exchange, there are currently around 23,000 to 25,000 Vietnamese students studying in the US annually, ranking first in Southeast Asia and fifth globally in this regard. With an average of 800,000 US tourist arrivals to Việt Nam per year before the COVID-19 pandemic, the US has been consistently placed in the top five sources of visitors to the Southeast Asian nation.

A ceremony to repatriate the remains thought to be associated with a US servicemember missing in action (MIA) from the war in Việt Nam was held at Đà Nẵng International Airport on June 27, 2023. — VNA/VNS Photo

Dũng noted that addressing the aftermath of the war remains a high priority and has achieved many specific results. Both sides have devoted significant resources and efforts to the search for and identification of the remains of fallen Vietnamese soldiers, dioxin detoxification (completed at Đà Nẵng Airport and ongoing at Biên Hòa Airport), bomb and mine clearance, and support for people with disabilities and those affected by dioxin/Agent Orange. Vietnamese agencies have cooperated with the US to search for, identify, and repatriate the remains of 733 missing US soldiers.

The ambassador said he believes in the future, the shared priority is to further strengthen and deepen cooperation in all spheres.

First, in politics and diplomacy, it is necessary to reinforce mutual understanding, increase exchanges at all levels, especially high levels, and enhance the effectiveness of existing dialogue mechanisms.

The two sides should develop economic, trade, investment, and scientific and technological relations in a stable and sustainable manner, while minimising trade defence actions. Additionally, they need to focus on cooperation in emerging and high-tech areas, such as the digital, green, and circular economy, and maintain the sustainability of supply chains.

US President Barack Obama holds talks with Vietnamese President Trương Tấn Sang at the White House on July 25, 2013, when the two countries established the comprehensive partnership. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Khang

More attention should be paid to cultural and artistic exchanges as well as education and training in line with Việt Nam's needs for high-quality human resources improvement. Attracting more US tourists to Việt Nam and supporting Vietnamese and those with Vietnamese roots in the US is also important.

The countries also need to accelerate cooperation in addressing the war consequences because as time goes on, the conditions for remediation become more challenging.

Finally, both sides should enhance their collaboration at multilateral forums, especially within the framework of the ASEAN-US comprehensive strategic partnership and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). They should also team up in resolving global issues, particularly emerging ones like the environment, climate change response, and clean energy transition.

Dynamic relationship

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) meets Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính in April in Hà Nội on his official visit to Việt Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday delivered a recorded video statement highlighting the strong and growing relationship between the US and Việt Nam on the 10th anniversary of the Comprehensive Partnership between the two countries.

In his remarks, he underlined the breadth of cooperation between the two countries, spanning economic, environmental, and security issues.

"We built a relationship that's dynamic, consequential, and growing stronger every day," Blinken said. "Our countries are working together on an incredibly broad range of shared interests to the benefit of our peoples and people across the region and world."

Blinken also highlighted the partnerships between the two countries on economic issues, including promoting inclusive economic opportunity, resilient supply chains, and infrastructure.

He noted that the US is helping Việt Nam reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 while powering sustainable development and strengthening public health systems.

Blinken also emphasised the importance of people-to-people ties, which he called the "foundation of our relationship," commenting that the US and Việt Nam are working to enable more students, researchers, entrepreneurs, and tourists to collaborate and travel between the two countries.

Blinken also touched on the issue of addressing the legacies of the Việt Nam War, stating that the US remains committed to clearing unexploded ordnance, eliminating dioxin hot spots, accounting for the missing, and other joint efforts.

"For the United States, that's a matter of trust and a matter of duty," he said.

The US diplomat has expressed optimism about the future of the US-Việt Nam relationship in his address.

Recalling the breaking ground of a new, state-of-the-art US embassy in Hà Nội, which he had attended during his visit earlier this year, he expressed gratitude to all those working to make the partnership between the two countries a reality.

"I can't wait to see where the next 10 years take us together," Blinken said.  VNS