On October 24, the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV) organized the Ambassador’s Forum themed: “Building a strong Vietnam-US relations in a volatile world” under the host of US Ambassador Daniel J . Kritenbrink and Vice President of the DAV Le Hai Binh.
The forum was attended by staff from the US Embassy to Vietnam and the Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies, lecturers from the International Relations Faculty and more than 50 students majoring in International Relations.
Addressing at the talks, the US Ambassador said that in a changing international situation, the US proposed a strategy to build a free and open Indo - Pacific in which the US supported “the key regional role” of ASEAN and Vietnam was an active and responsible member.
In the past years, Vietnam’s economy grew rapidly with the highest rate in South East Asia, attracting a huge amount of FDI. “We are delighted to see a developed, independent Vietnam and a potential partner” said the Ambassador.
The development of Vietnam-US relations based on a good foundation. When Senator John McCain passed away in August 2018, hundreds of Vietnamese expressed their condolences, considering him as a “big friend” of Vietnam. Former US Ambassador to Vietnam Peter Peterson once said the achievements of this bilateral relations was not a miracle - meaning that the two sides made tireless efforts to gain the result.
The Vietnam-US relations despite remaining some challenges has gained numerous achievements in various fields, especially security cooperation, addressing war consequences, economy and trade, energy cooperation and people’s diplomacy
In terms of security cooperation, in order to strengthen security and stability in the region, the two sides pledged to promote peace and abiding by international laws. The Ambassador emphasized the importance of strategic trust and highly appreciated Vietnam’s efforts in building this trust.
Vietnam, for the first time in history, has sent military medical personnel to assist the United Nations peacekeeping forces in South Sudan. This clearly shows that the two countries can cooperate in the international peacekeeping forces. In addition, armies from both sides can share information in preventing floods and natural disasters.
Collaborating in recovering post-war consequences is a vital move towards an open and positive future, including handling toxic chemicals and dioxin as well as finding remains of US soldiers from the Vietnam war. The two sides pushed to start to decontaminate dioxin in Da Nang airport and Bien Hoa airport.
In terms of economy, trade and investment, the Vietnam-US relations grow rapidly. The US is the biggest trading partner and the biggest market of Vietnam. The bilateral trade turnover in 2017 reached $US 54 trillion, however, there remained a growth in trade deficits
The cooperation in energy is a mutual concern because Vietnam has to meet up with its energy demand to maintain economic sustainable growth. However, the exploitation and usage of energy need to go hand-in-hand with environmental protection and sustainable growth.
Lastly, the Ambassador talked about people’s diplomacy, friendship and potentials for bilateral cooperation. The number of Vietnamese students in the US has passed 30.000 and the figure of US students coming to Vietnam is growing. There are numerous exchange programs for students such as YSEALI, Fullbright scholarships, SUSI,... The Ambassador affirmed that one of the top priorities of the US is to boost educational cooperation with Vietnam as well as tourism.