In a letter to Vietnamese people before leaving Vietnam, Shear wrote that Vietnam and its people will forever hold an important position in his heart and mind.
He said the past three years had seen progress in relations between the US and Vietnam, and both countries are outlining a clear orientation for bilateral ties in the future.
“We have seen a great expansion in US-Vietnam relations across the board in the past 20 years. We have an opportunity to further expand the relationship under the comprehensive partnership and in my new position I hope to continue working on that as well,” David said in a recent online webchat with VNExpress.
He said he was satisfied with his mission in Vietnam during which the US and Vietnam established a comprehensive partnership in 2013 as a result of President Truong Tan Sang’s visit to the US.
The US also launched a dioxin remediation project at Danang airport in central Vietnam in April 2014 and the project is scheduled for completion in 2016.
He also acknowledged the embassy’s effort in expanding the Fulbright Economic Training Program in HCM City, and hoped a Fulbright University would be established in the future.
The diplomat said he had enjoyed living in Vietnam for the past three years, meeting with friendly and hospitable people, enjoying good food and seeing beautiful scenery.
During his mission, David had visited more than 30 provinces and cities across Vietnam, from Lang Son and Cao Bang provinces in the north, to Kien Giang and Tay Ninh provinces in the south.
The former ambassador was fully confident of the increased trade ties between the US and Vietnam when the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, designed to reduce barriers to trade and investment, is signed in the near future.
“Once that agreement goes into effect I think bilateral trade between the United States and Vietnam will increase greatly,” he said.
David Shear was appointed the US ambassador to Vietnam in August 2011. He will be the next Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs following Senate confirmation.
President Barack Obama has nominated Ted Osius as the new US ambassador to Vietnam for 2014-2017.