Vietnam and the U.S. Look to Strengthen Relationship

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HANOI – Vietnam has spoken many times in the past of its strong intention to build a robust relationship with the United States. This sentiment was reaffirmed during an April 17th meeting between U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and Nguyen Sinh Hung, Vietnam’s National Assembly Chairman.

During his meeting with Senator Leahy, Mr. Hung discussed such issues as the recognition of Vietnam as a market economy and the progress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.

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Stressing the importance of the relationship between the two countries, Mr. Hung was quoted as saying that “Vietnam and the U.S. need to work towards a new relationship for their long-term sake.”

Senator Leahy also discussed the United States’ support in cooperating with Vietnam in dealing with the damage caused by the Vietnam War, or as Vietnam calls it, the American War.

At the end of their meeting, Mr. Hung invited the Senator and all interested U.S. Congressmen to attend the 132nd Assembly of the International Parliamentary Union, which is to be held in 2015 and to be located in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital.

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On April 18th, Senator Leahy also met with Vietnam State President Truong Tan Sang.  Mr. Sang stressed the importance of strengthening development ties with the U.S. and assured that Vietnam would always see the U.S. as its top partner.

Mr. Sang also urged the U.S. Senate to continue its bilateral connection with the government of Vietnam and expressed his hope that the U.S. Senate would also support the early recognition of Vietnam’s market economy, a reduction in trade barriers to Vietnamese goods and a quick end to the TPP negotiations.

Senator Leahy responded warmly and positively to Mr. Sang’s discussion, in response the senator stated that “the U.S. hopes for further effective affiliation with Vietnam, especially in economics, trade, investment, science and technology, education and training.”

During 2013, trade between the U.S. and Vietnam totaled US$29 billion. In the same year, the level of U.S. investment into the country amounted to US$10 billion.

The two countries past relationship includes cooperation on education, national security and science.

Additionally, the U.S. has recently become the largest importer of Vietnam’s aquatic products, accounting for 26.36 percent of the country’s exports over the past three months.  In 2014, the U.S. bought a total of US$1.61 billion worth of Vietnamese aquatic products. The amount of product that the U.S. has been importing from Vietnam has been consistently rising – in 2013, the U.S. imported US$1.518 billion in aquatic products, an increase of 27.4 percent.

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