US Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Francisco Sanchez has confirmed the growing importance of his country’s relations with Vietnam, at a National Day event in Washington, DC.
US Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Francisco Sanchez. Photo: VNA
“Vietnam is one of the markets we most want to do business with,” Sanchez said. “It is becoming an increasingly important place to market our goods and services.”
As a keynote speaker at the reception organised by the Vietnamese Embassy in the US in Washington D.C. in Sept. 1 evening to mark Vietnam's 66th National Day on September 2, the US Under Secretary highlighted Vietnam's tremendous contributions to the international community and the far-reaching achievements made by the United States and Vietnam since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1995.
"We share a common national interest in an ever-widening range of regional and global issues, from security and economic development to climate change, health and education,” Sanchez said.
“And economically, we’ve made incredible strides since launching the US - Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement a decade ago.”
The US official noted that the two countries should continue to enhance their bilateral commercial relationship through such forums as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
He expressed hope that with the help of Vietnam and other Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating partners, the US would look forward to finalising a comprehensive agreement that will incorporate a forward-looking approach to doing business, one that can serve as the platform for further APEC integration into the world economy.
Addressing the reception, Vietnam's Ambassador to the US Nguyen Quoc Cuong highlighted the achievements gained by the Vietnamese people over the past 66 years.
"From a country with a name hardly found in any world map, today Vietnam has been widely recognised as a proactive, responsible and reliable partner in the international community,” he said.
“Vietnam today has been making tremendous progress in building a rich people, a strong nation, and a just, democratic and advanced society.”
The Vietnamese diplomat said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations 16 years ago, Vietnam - US relations had developed at an unprecedented pace.
"Our political, security and defence ties are growing on a solid basis with regular senior level dialogues and exchanges,” he said.
“The United States is now Vietnam 's largest export market and one of our biggest foreign direct investors, while US exports to Vietnam have seen growth of 20-25 percent annually.
“We have grounds to believe that investment and trade ties will grow even faster in the years ahead, as we are seriously negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
“Our cooperation on science and technology, education, health, climate change, non-proliferation and counterterrorism is expanding through institutionalised mechanisms,” the ambassador said.
Vietnam topped ASEAN countries in sending students to the United States, with 13,000 students now studying there.
“Multilaterally, we share strategic interests in maintaining and consolidating peace, stability and development in the region."
The Vietnamese Ambassador expressed hope that Vietnam and the US would bring the two countries' bilateral relationship to "the next level of engagement and partnership" as stated by President Barack Obama when the ambassador presented his credentials on July 7.
The National Day reception was attended by senior US officials including Under Secretary of State Patrick Kennedy, Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, Under Secretary of Defense Michael Vickers, ambassadors of other ASEAN, East Asia Summit (EAS) and TPP countries, American friends and representatives of the Vietnamese community in the US.
Earlier, on August 31, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent her message of congratulations to the Vietnamese people, reaffirming that the US will continue to be Vietnam ’s friend and partner.