VN-US trade top priority post-pandemic

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Deputy minister of industry and trade Đỗ Thắng Hải speaks at the 2021 Việt Nam-US Trade Forum on Tuesday. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam considers the US among the most important and comprehensive trade partners, said deputy minister of industry and trade Đỗ Thắng Hải at the 2021 Việt Nam-US Trade Forum held yesterday in Hà Nội.

Hải said trade between the two countries, which grew from US$450 million in 1995 to US$90.8 billion in 2020, greatly benefited people and businesses on both sides. By the end of October, Việt Nam-US two-way trade reached $89.6 billion with Việt Nam’s exports at $76.7 billion and imports at $12.9 billion.

The US remained Việt Nam’s largest export market while the Southeast Asian economy has climbed five places since 2020 to become the US’ 9th largest trading partner.

Hải said the two economies being complementary in nature is the foundation for a harmonious, mutually beneficial and long-term trade relationship in the future. With full support from the two governments, businesses from Việt Nam and the US have been working closely to build a robust environment for investment and commerce activities, especially in industries and agriculture.

Investment from the US, in particular, has played an important part in Việt Nam’s socio-economic development in recent years with major projects that help set up Việt Nam’s position in the global supply chain. By the end of October this year, the US have invested $9.72 billion in FDI in 1,100 projects and ranked 11 out of 138 of Việt Nam’s investors with large brands including Exxon Mobil, Murphy Oil, Chevron, Boeing, Ford, Intel, Wal-Mart, Nike, Amazon and P&G all having a presence.

As the country becomes more open and integrated into the global economy, Việt Nam realises its fortune in becoming one of the region’s biggest economies as well as among major world economies including the US.

“Cooperation between Việt Nam and the US, especially in the development of the digital economy, energy and infrastructure, have great potential for growth in the future,” said the deputy minister.

US Embassy in Việt Nam’s Chargé d’Affaires Marie Damour said the US was committed to supporting Việt Nam in coping with climate change-related issues and building a dynamic economy, especially in the development of renewable energy, healthcare, electronics and airport infrastructure.

In order to further boost trade ties, Hải said both sides must rely on the 2007 Trade and Investment Framework Agreement to address issues related to trade protectionism to strengthen the supply chain and minimise the damage caused by the pandemic.

Bùi Huy Sơn, Commercial Attache at Việt Nam Embassy in the US, said while the US economy had shown signs of recovery a disrupted supply chain had resulted in a shortage of goods. This was a good opportunity for Vietnamese firms to ramp up production for the US market.

Virginia Foote, vice president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Việt Nam, said vaccinating the country’s labour force remained the highest priority. She also called for the reconciliation of Việt Nam and the US tax policies and protocols to make it easier for businesses from both sides to work together. — VNS

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