US highlights 25-year partnership with Vietnam
Hanoi, September 11 (VNA) – The US Department of State has extended congratulations and highlighted major achievements in the cooperation with Vietnam on the occasion of the ongoing 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-53) and related meetings hosted by Vietnam, and the 25th anniversary of bilateral ties. The breadth and depth of cooperation between the two countries is stunning, it noted, adding that they are working together in areas as diverse as trade, development, education, health care, energy, and security. “Today, our nations are trusted partners with a friendship grounded in mutual respect,” the US Department affirmed. In terms of human capital development, the US and Vietnam have fostered the establishment of Fulbright University. It is the first independent, not-for-profit and US-affiliated university in Vietnam. In the 2019 fiscal year, assistance of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to Vietnam totalled approximately 139 million USD in programme areas focused on economic governance, higher education, global health security, the welfare of persons with disabilities and the environment. According to the US Department of State, nearly 30,000 Vietnamese students are studying in the US, the sixth leading country of origin for foreign students in the US, adding close to 1 billion USD to the country’s economy as well as priceless contributions to people-to-people ties. Since 1989, the US has provided over 125 million USD in assistance directly and indirectly supporting over a million Vietnamese persons with disabilities. Regarding security cooperation, the US and Vietnam share a strategic vision of peace, stability and rules-based order, the US Department continued. The two sides cooperate on a wide range of areas, including peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR), search and rescue, maritime security and military medicine. Since 2009, the US has invested more than 400 million USD to build partner capacity with the total package approach. The countries’ defence relationship seeks to promote a strong and peaceful security environment that promotes private investment, ensures energy security and results in beneficial economic prosperity. As for trade ties, 25 years after establishing relations, bilateral trade has grown from almost zero to over 77 billion USD annually. Key US goods exports to Vietnam include computers and electronics, cotton, aircraft and crude oil. Vietnam is the sixth largest country market for US goods and agricultural exports. The Southeast Asian nation continued to be the world’s largest market for US cotton, with a record of 1.4 billion USD in sales during last year, accounting for 23 percent of all US cotton exports worldwide. Regarding health and the environment, the US government is providing more than 13 million USD in health assistance and economic support funds to respond to COVID-19. Apart from supporting private-sector recovery, these funds will help the Government of Vietnam prepare laboratory systems, support technical experts for preparedness and response, conduct community education and engagement, prevent infections in health care settings, and conduct public health screening at points of entry. “When the US Government launched the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003, Vietnam was the first country in Asia to receive support,” the US department noted. Since then, more than 140,000 people in Vietnam are receiving life-saving antiretroviral drugs among an estimated 230,000 people living with HIV nationwide. In addition, the US Department of State said that the US remains committed to honestly addressing humanitarian and legacy of war challenges. The country has provided over 400 million USD to date to clean up dioxin, remove unexploded ordnance and support persons with disabilities. The US is also accounting for Missing in Action and war dead for building trust by promoting veterans exchanges, said the department./.