President Sang meets with US congressmen

(VOV) -President Truong Tan Sang has praised the US Congress’s contributions to the development of Vietnamese-American relations.

President Truong Tan Sang has held a number of meetings with US congressmen and Senate Foreign Relations Committee representatives and attended a July 25 (Hanoi time) banquet hosted by the US-ASEAN Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce.

President Sang asked congressmen to continue supporting the two countries’ multifaceted cooperation on regional and global issues. He urged them to promote dialogue between the respective national legislative bodies and extend inter-locality ties.

The Vietnamese State leader spoke openly about the progress of Vietnam’s defence of human rights.

The participating US congressmen made it clear the country treasures its relationship with Vietnam and its Congress is fully behind the administration’s efforts to spur on bilateral ties new heights.

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They discussed regional issues including maritime safety and security in the East Sea and applauded ASEAN’s and Vietnam’s attempts to accelerate official Code of Conduct in the East Sea negotiations.

Sang also held meetings with World Bank (WB) President Jim Young Kim and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

Sang asked the WB to extend the provision of the International Development Association’s preferential loans for Vietnam’s infrastructure development projects.

Vietnam wants the IMF to help with policy consultancy, economic restructuring, and renewing its growth model.

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The WB and IMF leaders affirmed their institutions are committed to supporting Vietnam and believe that the comprehensive reforms currently underway will enable the Vietnamese economy to overcome macroeconomic challenges.

In an address to the US business community, President Sang acknowledged their place in the vanguard of a new era for Vietnam-US relations and economic and trade exchanges.

Since Vietnam and the US established diplomatic ties 18 years ago, bilateral cooperation has surged in politics, economics, national defence and security, science and technology, culture, education, healthcare, and people-to-people exchanges.

Economic, trade, and investment cooperation has been further enhanced under the framework of a Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) and the conclusion of bilateral negotiations regarding Vietnam’s World Trade Organisation membership.

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With two-way trade turnover increasing 54-fold over the past 18 years, the US has become Vietnam’s leading trade partner and seventh largest investor.

For the first time in its history, 2013 has seen Vietnam conduct free trade area (FTA) negotiations with all leading global economic organisations in the hopes of building long-term, equitable, and mutually beneficial partnerships.

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations are one of Vietnam’s highest priorities, especially in regards to the Asia Pacific region’s as yet fully realised potential for economic connectivity.

Vietnam will strive alongside  the US and other parties to conclude the TPP negotiations by later this year, balancing the interests of all involved and their different levels of development.

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Vietnam’s membership in regional multilateral organisations including ASEAN, APEC, TPP and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) demonstrates its enthusiasm for moving towards forming a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP). This fundamental goal underlies Vietnam’s work in the name of deepening regional and international economic integration and assuming its rightful place in the global value chain.

Vietnam will implement measures designed to ensure it remains an attractive destination for US and other foreign investment, serving as a gateway to ASEAN markets and promoting a prosperous Asia Pacific.

The host affirmed the US Government’s desire to strengthen its ties with Vietnam via effective mechanisms of cooperation spanning various fields.