|Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh (L) and Hawaii Governor David Ige
During his visit from September 27 to 29, Ambassador Vinh met with Hawaii Governor David Ige, who lauded cooperation potential between his state and Vietnamese localities, particularly in economics, trade, education, renewable energy, and climate change adaptation.
Ige said the Vietnamese community accounts for about 3 percent of Hawaii’s population and has contributed significantly to the development of the local economy and to Vietnam – US relations.
Vinh, for his part, noted highlights of bilateral relations, including a visit to the US by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last May, during which a joint statement on enhancement of the two countries’ comprehensive partnership was released.
Vietnam is working with APEC economies, including the US, to host the APEC Year 2017, the diplomat said.
He recommended his host boosting engagements between Hawaii and Vietnamese localities in trade and education and invited the governor to visit Vietnam.
Ige said he is looking forward to visiting Vietnam soon.
While in Hawaii, Ambassador Vinh visited the United States Pacific Command (PACOM) and held separated meetings with US Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of the US Pacific Fleet Admiral Scott Swift, and Commander of PACOM 25th Infantry Division Charles Flynn.
At the meetings, the diplomat spoke highly of the development of bilateral defence-security collaboration, with expectation that both sides continue commitments in their memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation signed in 2011 and the 2015 joint vision on defence relations.
Delegation exchanges, personnel training, dialogue consulting, as well as bilateral engagements in search and rescue missions, UN peacekeeping activities and overcoming of war consequences are among prioritised subjects, Vinh noted.
Agreeing with his guest, Admiral Harris stated the US wants to boost cooperation with Asia-Pacific countries, particularly ASEAN member states, for peace, development as well as for ensuring safety and freedom of navigation and overflight and the peaceful settlement of disputes in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The Vietnamese Ambassador also visited the military patrol vessel CSB 8020 operated by the Vietnamese coast guard, which was being docked in Hawaii. The US Coast Guard transferred the boat to the Vietnam Coast Guard last May in a bid to help increase the body’s capacity in performing maritime law enforcement and search and rescue operations.