US-Vietnam Trade Flourishing
As both the United States and Vietnam celebrate their 20th Anniversary of Normalization of U.S.-Vietnam Diplomatic Relations, both countries today affirmed to strengthen their economic engagement.
In his remarks today in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Assistant Secretary Charles H. Rivkin for Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs said the economic engagement between two nations has been the foundation behind its great success.
“That same engagement can and must be the platform for all future success.” Mr. Rivkin
Economic ties between the nations have grown over the past 20 years.
“Business and investment ties between two nations have grown, and so has our political and diplomatic cooperation.” – Mr. Rivkin
The economic ties between the nations has led the way to cooperate in many other areas, like education and people-to-people exchanges; cooperation in the fields of the environment, science, and health; enhanced security cooperation and addressing climate change.
Trade Deal Boosts Economic Engagement
Ten years ago, both countries signed an “Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation,” that led to a framework to address many challenges, from combating HIV/AIDS to disaster risk reduction.
According to Mr. Rivkin, that framework also extends to strong cooperation on addressing climate change, practicing sustainable development, and employing clean energy in the Mekong region.
In addition, the US and Vietnam also celebrate the 15th year of Bilateral Trade Agreement or the BTA.
Through BTA, Vietnam’s poverty rate has dropped from 60 percent to 17.2 percent. And, domestic prices of imported goods have also decreased and given the Vietnamese people more consumer choices.
US and Vietnam Trade Flourishing Through The Years
Through the BTA, Vietnam exports more goods to the United States than to any other country. US-Vietnam trade has grown dramatically, from $451 million in 1995 to $36 billion in 2014.
According to Mr. Rivkin, Vietnamese entrepreneurs have benefited greatly, exporting clothing, furniture, consumer electronics, and food to the United States.
Aside from trade, thousands of jobs were created in Vietnam and in the United States.
Since normalization of ties between two nations in 1995, Vietnam’s GDP was already growing at a rate of more than four percent every year.
Since the signing of the BTA in 2000, that figure rose to more than five percent – each and every year.
Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement: More Opportunity For Economic Engagement
According to Mr. $Rivkin, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement or TPP will allow 12 participating countries – which account for almost 40 percent of the world’s GDP – to trade and invest more freely, openly, and competitively in each other’s markets.
If successfully concluded, the TPP will allow both US and Vietnam countries to open many more doors to economic opportunity.
“It will allow commerce to flow across a dozen borders without government protectionism and other barriers.” – Mr. Rivkin
In addition, the TPP will set high standards for labor and the environment that will lay down a marker for the world.
Other benefits of TPP include promoting a free and open internet, protecting intellectual property rights, and clarifying regulations so that more businessmen and women can explore new markets and grow their businesses.
Finally, the TPP will help Vietnam attract greater investment, achieve more regional integration and, by extension, help build greater security across the Asia-Pacific.
The United States wants to continue to strengthen and expand its ties with Vietnam to further enhance its continued positive role as an emerging economy and responsible trading partner.
The United States is ready and willing to be a strong partner in supporting Vietnam’s efforts to continue modernizing the economy – and address issues of climate change, intellectual property protection, and developing new standards for labor.