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President meets overseas Vietnamese in Washington

Update: June, 21/2007 - 00:00

President meets overseas Vietnamese in Washington

(22-06-2007)

President Nguyen Minh Triet and his wife arrive at Andrew Airport In Washington DC. —VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang

Washington — President Nguyen Minh Triet arrived in Washington DC on Wednesday to continue his tour of the US and meet with representatives of the Vietnamese community.

The meeting was part of the President’s continuing tour of the US, and provided the opportunity for Triet to update members of the Vietnamese community in the US on recent developments in Viet Nam.

The President stressed the significance of the first official visit to the US by a president of an independent and reunified Viet Nam, saying that the visit would help promote friendly and co-operative relations between Viet Nam and the US, and affirm Viet Nam’s rising prestige in the regional and international arenas.

President Triet also affirmed that the Vietnamese Party and State always considered overseas Vietnamese an integral part of multi-ethnic Viet Nam.

He said that for Viet Nam to rise to its current position, many generations of Vietnamese, regardless of whether they were in or outside the country, had made unceasing efforts to contribute to the cause of national construction and defence, especially to reforms during the past 20 years.

The President talked with overseas Vietnamese and answered their questions on life in the homeland and on the Party and State’s policies on helping overseas Vietnamese contribute to the development of Viet Nam.

The State leader called on overseas Vietnamese to maintain close ties with the home country and pass the Vietnamese culture and language onto young generations.

Meeting with staff at the Vietnamese embassy in the US capital, President Triet granted a Labour Order, Second Class to Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Nguyen Tam Chien, and a Labour Order, First Class to the staff of the Vietnamese Embassy in the US for their contributions to boosting friendship between Viet Nam and the US.

Before leaving for Washington on Wednesday, President Triet and his delegation attended a banquet, organised by the Asia Foundation, and met with representatives from different social circles in New York.

President Triet stressed that in spite of the geographical distance, both Viet Nam and the US want to build a friendly and co-operative relationship. Since normalisation, Viet Nam-US bilateral relations had grown rapidly, with bilateral co-operation in many areas being expanded, he said.

The same day, President Triet attended a lecture on education at Harvard University. Addressing the audience at the lecture, the President said the Vietnamese Party and State paid special attention to education and called on US universities to promote co-operation with Vietnamese universities.

Presidential lunch

The US-ASEAN Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce were expected to host President Triet and his delegation at a luncheon attended by representatives from the government, and media yesterday.

The US-ASEAN Business Council’s president, Matthew Daley, said the council would talk about shared goals of increasing US investment and trade with Viet Nam.

Joint commission

A two-day annual meeting of the Viet Nam-US Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Development began in Washington on Monday. The meeting was held within the framework of the Viet Nam-US Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) with the aim of reviewing the countries’ co-operation over the past five years.

The delegation from Viet Nam was headed by Bui Huy Hung, director of the International Relations Department under the Governmental Office, with the participation of representatives from the Ministries of Trade, Planning and Investment, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Post and Telematic, Justice, Science and Technology, Culture and Information, and Agriculture and Rural Development.

The US delegation was led by Babara Weisel, assistant to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), with representatives from the Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Commerce, Treasury and the Federal Reserve Department (FED).

The two sides reviewed bilateral economic, trade and investment in 2006 and 2007 period as well as the five-year (2001-06) implementation of the BTA, including areas such as trade in goods, intellectual property rights, services, investment and the improvement of the legal environment in Viet Nam in line with the market economy and BTA commitments.

On the sidelines of the main meeting at the USTR headquarters, the two sides held sub-meetings concerning the US monitoring mechanism on garments and textiles imports from Viet Nam and co-operative measures to prevent bilateral trade disputes with the US Department of Commerce.

Legal regulations concerning anti-money laundering with the US Treasury and Department of Justice, facilitation for Vietnamese commercial banks to open representative offices in the US with FED and the implementation of commitments on intellectual property rights made in Ha Noi with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) were also high on the agenda of the sub-meetings.

After the meeting, the two sides were of the opinion that the BTA has proved to be a successful agreement between Viet Nam and the US. Through the BTA implementation, bilateral trade turnover between the two countries reached US$9.7 billion in 2006, an eight-fold increase over the five years before the BTA.

y the end of 2006, US investment in Viet Nam amounted to $4.5 billion, including investment capital from other countries, bringing the world’s largest economy to sixth among 75 countries and territories investing in Viet Nam.

They agreed that the implementation of the BTA and technical assistance from the US Agency of International Development have been helpful to Viet Nam in building many important legal documents to fall into line with the country’s BTA commitments.

Cultural exhibition

An exhibition on contemporary Vietnamese culture opened in Washington DC on June 20 to mark President Triet’s visit.

The installation exhibition is the first of its kind outside Viet Nam that showcases water puppetry, painting, photography and music.

The five-day event is taking place at the Ronald Reagan Building and the International Trade Centre. — VNS

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