Senior US officials pledge support for Viet Nam, says Deputy PM
The following is the full text of the interview, which was made in Washington on Mar. 17:
Question: Would you tell us about the importance of your visit to the US and what you wanted to achieve there?
Answer: My delegations visit to the US had three goals. The first goal was to discuss with US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice, as well as other secretaries and members of the US Congress, measures to speed up the implementation of commitments made by leaders of both countries in the spirit of the two Joint Statements made in 2005 and 2006, thus developing cooperation between the two countries on a large scale and in a stable and effective manner.
The second aim was to meet and make contacts with large US economic groups and corporations in order to foster deeper economic and commercial ties and call for increased investment and trade, particularly after we joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the US granted Viet Nam the Permanent Normal Trade Relation (PNTR) status.
Thirdly, to discuss with the US preparations for an official visit to the US by State President Nguyen Minh Triet slated for the end of this year.
A: Could you please speak of the outstanding results of the visit?
Q: The visit achieved all the set targets. The delegation received support from circles in the United States for the promotion of relations between the two countries. Senior US Government officials and legislators all expressed their delight at the development of bilateral relationship which they pledged to support and said they will create favourable conditions and consider further measures to intensify the ties with Viet Nam in many spheres, particularly in economics, investment, science, technology, higher education and training.
Leaders of the localities where I visited expressed their joy at the prospect for multifaceted cooperation with Viet Nam, particularly in economics, investment, science and technology, as well as their wish that Viet Nam would open consulate offices in their areas. The US business community expressed particular interest in Viet Nam's potential and environment for business, considering Viet Nam one of the priority countries in Asia for economic, trade and investment cooperation. The two sides planned to organise a Viet Nam-California Business Forum in Viet Nam this year and the President of the California State Assembly agreed to lead the state's delegation of entrepreneurs to the forum.
I had meetings with many representatives of the Vietnamese communities in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. The overseas Vietnamese were very pleased with the renewal achievements in all fields and expressed their desire to do what they can to contribute to national construction.
On this occasion, the two sides also signed many important agreements and deals reflecting their resolve to implement commitments in the Nov. 2006 Joint Statement, including an agreement on maritime transport, a contract to replace fuel rods at the Da Lat nuclear reactor and a Memorandum of Understanding on office software copyright between the Ministry of Posts and Telematics and Microsoft Corporation.
Q: What do you think about Viet Nam-US economic cooperation prospects are in the near future?
A: The economic and commercial relations between the two countries have grown strongly over the past years; however, I think that prospects remain great for bilateral cooperation.
During this visit, I held many fruitful meetings with US corporations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington D.C. They expressed their eagerness and wishes to intensify investment and trade in Viet Nam. It is time for the Viet Nam-US economic-commercial relations to be lifted to a new height and a larger scale to match potential in the two countries. The Vietnamese government and relevant ministries and agencies attached great importance to this goal.
Accordingly, I discussed this with US economic and commercial officials and proposed the US adjust its economic-commercial policies towards Viet Nam with a view to lifting existing barriers, such as loosening control over exports to facilitate Viet Nam's import of hi-tech products from the US and creating propitious conditions for Vietnamese products to enter the US market. I also proposed the US increase development aid for Viet Nam.
I also met with leaders of the Eximbank and the Overseas Private Investment Cooperation (OPIC), two US governmental organisations in charge of promoting and ensuring private investment abroad. They affirmed that activities geared to promote investment in Viet Nam will be intensified in the near future, with priority given to encouraging small-and medium-sized businesses, and implementing infrastructure, houses and offices development projects in Viet Nam.
During meetings with senior officials from the US Department of Commerce, I expressed special concern about the department's proposal to impose a supervision mechanism on Viet Nam's garment and textile products and proposed the US work out concrete and effective measures to ensure fairness and non-discrimination in commercial relations between the two countries in line with regulations of the World Trade Organisation.
I believe that Viet Nam-US relations will continue developing in the coming time, especially in economy, commerce, science and technology, and education, to meet the interests of people of the two countries./.
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