U.S. vows to enhance enduring, comprehensive partnership with Vietnam: ambassador

08:18, June 30, 2010      

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The U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Michael Michalak said here on Tuesday that the United States vows to enhance enduring and comprehensive partnership with Vietnam.

Michalak made the remarks during a press briefing held on Tuesday to highlight accomplishments in the bilateral relations between the United States and Vietnam in the past 15 years.

The U.S.Vietnam bilateral economic relationship has expanded dramatically since the two countries normalized diplomatic relations in 1995, said Michalak. Two-way trade has increased more than 3,300 percent since then.

In 2009, the United States was the largest foreign investor in Vietnam and bilateral trade reached 15.4 billion U.S. dollars.

The United States is trying to increase exports to Vietnam, said the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam. Vietnamese export to the United States had doubled since 2006.

It would be a win-win situation if the United States can increase exports to Vietnam, said Michalak.

This year, the United States and Vietnam, together with six other partners, will hold negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership regional free trade agreement, a potential platform for economic integration across the Asia-Pacific region that will advance United States'and Vietnam's economic interests, he said.

Besides trade and economic relations, the two countries are strengthening cooperation in other areas.

Michalak said that one of his three major priorities for Vietnam is education and expressed his willingness to work hard to help Vietnamese government strengthen education infrastructure and double the number of Vietnamese students to American schools.

In 2009, Vietnam has advanced to the eighth place in the list of countries sending students to the United States with 12,823 studying in U.S. schools, moving up from thirteenth place in the 2008 academic year.

Military cooperation between the two countries has also grown fantastically over the past 15 years, said the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam.

"We believe having a strong military cooperation would contribute to peace and stability of the region," he said.

The United States would strive to continue to assist Vietnam to enhance capabilities in search and rescue, humanitarian assistance or disaster relief, military medicine and maritime security, said the ambassador.

Moreover, the two countries have boosted cooperation in areas that would have been considered sensitive even five years ago such as peacekeeping operations and training, counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics cooperation, border security, and nonproliferation, said Michalak.

The United States and Vietnam have come a remarkably long way in 15 short years and can be proud of their achievements. Where there was once deep-seated mutual distrust, there is now an active partnership based on mutual goals, respect and cooperation, he said.

Source: Xinhua


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