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Viet Nam-US joint commission convenes

The annual meeting of the Viet Nam-US Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Development was held in Washington from June 18-19.

The meeting was held within the framework of the Viet Nam-US Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) with the aim of reviewing the two country's cooperation over the past five years.

The delegation of Viet Nam was headed by Bui Huy Hung, Director of International Relations Department under the Governmental Office with the participation of representatives from the Ministries of Trade, Planning and Investment, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Post and Telematic, Justice, Science and Technology, Culture and Information, and Agriculture and Rural Development.

The US delegation was led by Babara Weisel, Assistant to United State Trade Representative (USTR) with representatives from the Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Commerce, Treasury and the Federal Reserve Department (FED).

The two sides reviewed the bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation during the 2006-07 period as well as the five-year (2001-06) implementation of the BTA, including various areas such as trade in goods, intellectual property rights, services, investment and the improvement of the legal environment in Viet Nam in line with the market economy and BTA commitments.

On the sidelines of the main meeting at the USTR headquarters, the two sides held sub-meetings concerning the US monitoring mechanism on garments and textiles imports from Viet Nam and cooperative measures to prevent bilateral trade disputes with the US Department of Commerce.

Legal regulations concerning anti-money laundering with the US Treasury and Department of Justice, facilitation for Vietnamese commercial banks to open representative offices in the US with FED and the implementation of commitments on intellectual property rights made in Ha Noi with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) were also high on the agenda of the sub-meetings.

After the meeting, the two sides were both of the opinion that the BTA has proved to be a successful agreement between Viet Nam and the US. Through the BTA implementation, bilateral trade turnover between the two countries reached 9.7 billion USD in 2006, an eight-fold increase over the previous five years when the BTA had not been signed.

By the end of 2006, US investment in Viet Nam amounted to 4.5 billion USD (including investment capital from third countries), bringing the world's largest economy to sixth among 75 countries and territories investing in Viet Nam.

They agreed that the implementation of the BTA and US technical assistance from the US Agency of International Development have been helpful to Viet Nam in building many important legal documents to fall into line with the country's BTA commitments.(VNA)

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