Upon addressing the signing ceremony, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, highlighted the special importance of mutual relations.
Minister Anh expressed his great appreciation for the role and efforts of Congresswoman Carol Miller and West Virginia State Governor Jim Justice in promoting bilateral economic and trading ties in both the US Congress and Government. In addition, he put forward the view that now is an appropriate time for both sides to ramp up in-depth co-operation in an effort to promote further economic recovery and cope with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
With the signing of the MoU, the MoIT and the State of West Virginia set out the goal of establishing a comprehensive co-operation framework that can facilitate trade and investment exchanges in industry and energy, along with projects run by firms from the two sides. This can be done whilst enhancing the sharing of information regarding potential business opportunities.
The MoU also puts forth specific goals, clearly defines the responsibilities and powers of each party in the implementation process, whilst establishing a joint working group in order to promote co-operative activities.
“We find the US an important and long-term partner for energy co-operation, not only in energy supplies but also in technology and investment in bilateral cooperation,” the Minister states.
“Along with the MoU signed in October, 2019, with the content covering all energy fields between the MoIT, the US Department of State, and the US Department of Energy, we consider the MoU signed today to be important foundations in continuing to strengthen specific areas of co-operation in the long term and also expect this to be an important milestone in bilateral energy co-operation, thereby opening up a new page in profound, comprehensive and effective cooperation between the two sides,” Minister Anh said.
Minister Anh affirmed that developing strategic trust represents one of the most important factors that can serve to increase the comprehensive co-operation partnership in a substantial and sustainable manner between both sides. In particular, the field of economics and trade can be boosted for the benefit of people and businesses, thereby contributing to peace, stability, co-operation, and development in the Asia-Pacific region.
According to the Minister, improving the local business investment environment and creating favourable conditions for US projects will be the priority for the Vietnamese Government. The nation has so far participated in a total of 16 free trade agreements (FTAs) with 54 partner countries, the majority of which are members of the G20. As a result, firms from the US and West Virginia will have the chance to access open markets when investing and conducting business with Vietnam.
Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc emphasised that, with the comprehensive partnership framework first established in 2013, joint ties have made great strides across multiple fields. This can be seen in terms of trade, despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral trade turnover recorded strong growth last year, reaching a figure of US$90.8 billion, and is expected to hit US$100 billion this year.
Generally, over the past five years, Vietnamese export turnover to the US has increased by 230%, while exports from the US to the nation have also surged by more than 175%.
The country has worked alongside the US to develop an action plan with many specific solutions aimed at achieving a harmonious and sustainable trade balance between both sides, including strengthening co-operation with the US Government as well as other states.