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25 years of the U.S - Vietnam relation:

A driving force to go further

(VLR) 20 years after Vietnam’s unification, on July 12th, 1995, the U.S President Bill Clinton and Vietnam’s Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet officially announced the normalization, establishing diplomatic relations between the U.S and Vietnam and opening a new era: the two countries became friends and comprehensive partners in all fields and in future cooperation.


On July 11th, 2020 U.S Senator Jim Risch, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a statement on the 25 anniversary of the U.S-Vietnam relations (July 12th, 1995 - July 12th, 2020). The statement said: “Over the past quarter century, the United States and Vietnam have overcome the wounds of war to build a strong partnership in the areas of trade, development, public health, energy, defense, and people-to-people ties”. The Senator said he is committed to advancing U.S efforts to support a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam and deepen a comprehensive partnership. He stated that the United States must continue to prioritize engagement with Vietnam on important areas such as regional security, trade and economic cooperation, as well as human rights and the rule of law.

Though we were once enemies, we have become friends, partners, and now Comprehensive Partners. We cannot change the past. However, our future is in our hands”.

General Secretary – State President Nguyen Phu Trong

The U.S and Vietnam relations have been on active progress for the past 25 years, especially in the field of economy- trade and investment. In 1985, the bilateral turnover was USD 450m, and it has been increased 170 times, equally to USD 76bn in 2019. The U.S’s and Vietnam’s economies have been reciprocal: the U.S has been Vietnam’s largest markets with products of Vietnam’s advantages as aquaproducts, textitle and garments, footwares and agriculture... And at the same time, Vietnam has been one of the U.S’s fastest-growing export market.

Especially, after the U.S - Vietnam Trade Agreement signed in 2000, Vietnam’s export product structure has had remarkable changes. Previously, export products mainly were textile and garment, shoe leather; currently, agricultural products, sea and aqua-products have been put in the list of important export products. In 2019, 5 largest export goods to the U.S, besides textile and garment (24%), footwear (11%), were phones and accessories (15%), computer and electronic products (10%) and furniture (9%).

Imported goods from the U.S were machines, equipment, materials and accessories serving production, but recently, goods of agricultural products, fruits and vegetables, meat and its products have been imported much.

The U.S has currently beeb the 11th largest investor in Vietnam with diverse formats of investments in 43 out of 63 provinces and cities. After a time of effective operation, many large American groups wished to expand their sizes and to help Vietnam gain a position in regional and worldwide supply chains. Sciece- technology cooperation between the two countries have been well developed with expansion to new fields. Many American leading technology enterprises wished to push up cooperation in fields the two countries have paid much attention to as artificial intelligence, creative start-up, renewable energy, information technology infrastructure and high quality human resource training.

Until the end of 2019, the total registered capital from American enterprises in Vietnam has reached over USD 11bn. The U.S has invested in 17/21 sectors, including 17 projects in hospitality and F&B services with the registered capital approximately USD 4.68bn, accounting for 42.3%; processing industry with 323 projects, registered capital of USD 2.24bn, accounting for 20.3%, the rest belonging to others. Many famous brands as Citigroup, American Group, Intel, Chevron, Ford, Starwood Hotel, AIA, Dickerson Knight Group, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, KFC... have had firm positon in Vietnam.


Deputy Prime Minister- Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh said: “As are all bilateral ties

Vietnam is currently the 16th largest trade partner and aming to Top 10 of the U.S’s trade partners. And the U.S is also the third largest trade partner to Vietnam.

in the world, Vietnam and the United States are faced with our share of differences and disagreements. This is understandable for two countries of distinct cultural and historical backgrounds, political systems, and development levels, seeking to further deepen their growing comprehensive partnership”. He emphasized: “Yet above all, both countries have shown respect for each other’s political system, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Both sides have been making an effort to foster dialogue, promote cooperation and minimize differences that may affect the overall relations. At the same time, dialogue mechanisms have been sustained to resolve disagreements in a frank, open and constructive manner”.

At present, the two countries are actively reviewing outstanding issues and addressing a number of the U.S concerns, which include effectively implementing the Action Plan towards a harmonious and sustainable trade balance in order to alleviate trade deficit.

After 25 years of normalization of relations and 7 years of Comprehensive Partnership, the achievements of the two sides speak well for themselves. It is clear that Vietnam and the United States have made the right decisions to cooperate on the basis of equality, mutual benefit, respect for each other’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political system, and in adherence to the UN Charter and fundamental principles of international law. This has proven to be an inevitable trend and entirely in line with the interests of our peoples, and a testament to the resolution, efforts and strategic vision of our two countries’ leaders.

Lam Trinh

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