Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Phạm Bình Minh (right) meets with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in Washington, DC on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo Đặng Huyền
WASHINGTON, DC — Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh had meetings with several US officials in Washington, DC on Thursday as part of his official visit to the North American nation.
Talking to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Minh said Việt Nam has been working to improve its investment climate, and encouraged US companies to invest and do business in the country. He also proposed the two sides continue handling issues of shared concern in the spirit of promoting win-win trade.
Secretary Mnuchin agreed to keep fostering economic, trade and investment ties, saying they are a foundation of the countries' relationship. He said he appreciated Việt Nam’s active sharing of information and settlement of priority economic issues.
At another meeting, the Vietnamese official and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross reviewed trade progress. They agreed to continue improving available co-operation mechanisms, including the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, while negotiating new, stable and long-term frameworks that match the characteristics and scale of the two countries’ economic ties and overall relations.
Meeting with Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Deputy PM Minh said he appreciated the US Department of Defence's allocation of part of its budget for the dioxin remediation project at Biên Hòa airbase, which was launched in April this year.
The two sides agreed to grow ties under the 2011 memorandum of understanding on defence co-operation and the 2015 joint vision statement on defence co-operation, including in marine security, unexploded ordnance clearance, support for Agent Orange victims and the ongoing search for Vietnamese soldiers who went missing in action.
The Vietnamese official also met with Eliot Engel, Chairman of the US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee. Engel emphasised his support for the countries’ partnership, saying the US Congress will continue supporting the allocation of funds for war consequence settlement, especially the aforementioned dioxin remediation project and supporting people with disabilities.
He said the Congress is paying attention to the East Sea situation and supports the maintenance of freedom of navigation and aviation and the peaceful handling of disputes on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Receiving Executive Vice President of the AES Corporation Gustavo Pimenta, Foreign Minister Minh said the Vietnamese Government is working to create the best possible conditions for US businesses to operate, especially in the field of energy. He expressed his belief that the company's investment projects in Việt Nam will be successful and help attract more US firms to the Southeast Asian nation. — VNS