Vietnam-U.S. trade jumps 1,200 % in 10 years
By Chien Thang - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC - Two-way trade between Vietnam and the U.S. has snowballed over 1,200%, from a mere US$1.5 billion to over US$20 billion a year since their bilateral trade agreement (BTA) came into force on December 10, 2001.
U.S. ambassador to Vietnam David B. Shear said that in addition to the trade and investment benefits, the BTA served as a “stepping stone” for Vietnam’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2007.
“This is a good time for the United States and Vietnam. Over the last 10 years we have made impressive advances in our bilateral relationship, particularly on the economic front,” said the ambassador. “Promoting even stronger economic ties between our two countries is among my top priorities as ambassador.”
Shear said progress in the bilateral trade and investment relationship had coincided with a tremendous economic transformation in Vietnam that has helped to improve the lives of ordinary Vietnamese citizens.
Real income in Vietnam has grown an average of 7.2% per year, and GDP per capita has risen from US$413 in 2001 to US$1,300 this year. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s poverty rate has fallen from 58% in 1993 to 10.6% in 2010.
“Building on this accomplishment, the United States and Vietnam continue to work together to define rules for trade and investment that promote economic growth and opportunity in our economies,” he said.
Currently, the U.S. and Vietnam, together with seven other partners, are negotiating a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) regional free trade agreement, which serves as a potential platform for economic integration across the Asia-Pacific region.
“This integration will advance the economic interests for both the United States and Vietnam for many years to come, creating jobs and further strengthening our relationship,” the ambassador said.