Elevating Vietnam-U.S. Relations

12:33:56 PM | 9/16/2022

VCCI Vice President Bui Trung Nghia on September 14 received a delegation from the U.S. Department of State led by Ms. Emily Blanchard, Deputy Minister in charge of economic development, energy and environment and Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of State.

On this occasion, Vietnam Business Forum reporter had an interview with Ms. Emily Blanchard about Vietnam-U.S. trade and investment cooperation.

What does economic cooperation between Vietnam and the U.S. mean in the relationship between the two countries?

The bilateral economic relationship is incredibly important to both Vietnam and the Vietnamese people, and especially to the American people. We are building a global economy where there is greater prosperity, shared by all, greater security and diversity in our supply chains, and increasingly, more sustainable production. As we shift to the energy transition. And Vietnam is a vital partner in this work to build a greener economic future.

Is this visit also to deepen the bilateral economic relationship?

We are delighted to be here in the context of this nearly 10-year celebration, since our comprehensive partnership, and we look forward in the years ahead to reinforcing and elevating that relationship between our two countries. So we're meeting with the private sector, with local leaders in the National Assembly and ministries that are key in our partnership, and looking for ways to strengthen and deepen the ties that connect us.

And we should add that we met with the private sector in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday. So we had a chance to talk to both Vietnamese and American investors here in Vietnam to better understand what they need to have and how we can work better to deepen the economic relationship.

What is the significance of Vietnam's presence at IPEF in the relationship between the two countries?

I'll just note that last week, Vietnam, joined the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), four pillars, which include trade, which includes supply chains, which include a fair economy and which also include clean energy. And so that's a great step forward. We were talking in the meeting earlier about what that's going to mean for small and medium-sized enterprises, small and medium enterprises in Vietnam and what it means for the business community. It's an opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to be at the table with the Vietnamese government to talk with all of our regional partners in Asia.

Absolutely, I couldn't agree more the importance of IPEF cannot be overstated. What we're doing in partnership with Vietnam and other key regional partners is to build a vision and approach to global prosperity today and in the future, working together. And it is very exciting to have Vietnam at the table from the very beginning in all four pillars of this economic framework and dialogue. So this will be a critical conversation going forward. And now it's time we've celebrated the beginning of these discussions. Now we get to do the hard work to make our visions a reality.

What do you think about the prospect of further investment from U.S. companies in Vietnam and what could be done to improve the quality of the FDI flows from the U.S. into Vietnam?

I will go back again to what we are trying to do with the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and the conversations there are answering the demand from firms and investors who are already in Vietnam and those who are interested in investing more in Vietnam and throughout the region. Firms want to invest not just in the lowest cost production, what they want to do is invest and produce products in the world that are made with values consistent with their own and that means a more open inclusive, green and sustainable secure and diverse set of supply chain principles. Those are the principles that are in the IPEF second pillar, the labor and environmental commitments and focus that for that governments will make under the first pillar, this is critical. These are the tools that answer the demand of firms for what they want to be confident when they choose to invest in Vietnam. So again, Vietnam's presence at that table is critically important. And it is a very strong and positive signal for continued success in strengthening our comprehensive partnership and elevating the relationship we have between the two countries.

Giang Tu (Vietnam Business Forum)