The United States of America and Vietnam today reaffirmed the growing and mutually beneficial partnership between two nations.
In her remarks with Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh after their meeting in Vietnam, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says both nations are working on everything from maritime security and nonproliferation to public health and disaster relief to promoting trade and economic growth.
Ms. Clinton reports that she discussed with Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh the legacy issues such as Agent Orange, unexploded ordnance, and accounting for those missing in action as well.
Vietnam has emerged as a leader in the lower Mekong region and in Southeast Asia, and the United States and Vietnam share important strategic interests, Ms. Clinton said.
“The United States greatly appreciates Vietnam’s contributions to a collaborative, diplomatic resolution of disputes and a reduction of tensions in the South China Sea.” -Ms. Clinton
She adds that the US government looks to ASEAN to make rapid progress with China toward an effective code of conduct in order to ensure that as challenges arise, they are managed and resolved peacefully through a consensual process in accordance with established principles of international law.
The Foreign Minister and Ms. Clinton also discussed these and many other issues, including their interest in deepening cultural, educational, and economic ties.
“We have a business delegation with us on this trip, and I will be meeting with them later.” -Ms. Clinton
Both nations are also working on expanding trade through a far-reaching, new regional trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would lower trade barriers while raising standards on everything from labor conditions to environmental protection to intellectual property.
She stresses that higher standards are important, because if Vietnam is going to continue developing and transition to an innovative entrepreneurial economy for the 21st century, there will have to be more space created for the free exchange of ideas, to strengthen the rule of law, and respect the universal rights of all workers, including the right to unionize.
In 2010, both nations celebrated 15 years of diplomatic relations. Together, the United States and Vietnam provide a great example of how partnerships in the 21st century can move them all forward in cooperation.
The United States is committed to strengthening its partnership with Vietnam as a key pillar of its presence in the region and of its involvement in multilateral institutions in the Asia-Pacific area, like ASEAN and APEC.
US and Vietnam signed an historic bilateral trade agreement which has increased trade more than 700%, from just over $2 billion in 2001 to nearly $16 billion in 2009.
The United States is now one of Vietnam’s most important export markets.
The economic ties have a real, meaningful impact that’s not only good for millions of their citizens, but also for businesses.
The strengthening economic relationship has supported and enhanced their expanding bilateral ties in a multitude of other areas as well: from cooperation in education, health, and the environment, to engagement in previously more sensitive areas, such as security and law enforcement.
Vietnam’s increasingly market-oriented approach also has lead to accession as the 150th member of the World Trade Organization.
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. And that’s where all of you come in.