Vietnam, US commit to future outlook

(VOVworld) – US President Barack Obama concluded an official visit to Vietnam on May 25. The visit opened a new chapter in bilateral cooperation, particularly in  politics, defense, security, education, and training.

Vietnam, US commit to future outlook - ảnh 1

President Obama’s visit to Vietnam, the third by a sitting US President since the normalization of diplomatic ties, was evidence of the outstanding growth of relations between the two former foes. It proved the two countries’ growing comprehensive partnership with strong future prospects.

Comprehensive partnership fostered

During the visit President Obama announced the removal of a ban on the sales of weapons to Vietnam, considered the last vestige of the Cold War. Obama called the removal of the ban an important step forward in Vietnam-US relations and a full normalization of bilateral ties, which will boost comprehensive cooperation and consolidate mutual trust.

Vietnam has insisted that disputes should be resolved through peaceful, diplomatic, and legal measures and that increasing its national defense capability is only to protect its independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. The removal of the ban will diversify weapons and military equipment for Vietnam and increase its defense capability, a legitimate right of a sovereign country recognized internationally. The US also agreed to increase cooperation in marine law enforcement, search and rescue at sea, and resolving war aftermath.

A joint statement by President Obama and President Tran Dai Quang said the two countries will focus more on cooperation in trade, investment, science, technology, human resource development, and climate change response. A number of economic agreements worth more than 16 billion USD were signed during the visit. President Obama said he will push Congress to ratify the TPP in 2016 and pledged to provide Vietnam with technical help in implementing the agreement. On the occasion of the visit, Fulbright University Vietnam was officially licensed toward establishing an international standard educational environment in Vietnam. Vietnam and the US agreed to work together to resolve regional and global challenges. President Obama said he believes a new US government, no matter which party it belongs to, will continue the US’s policy on Vietnam.

Future outlook

20 years ago approximately 60,000 American tourists visited Vietnam each year. That figure has grown to 500,000. Two-way trade has increased from 450 million to 45 billion USD over the last 20 years. Vietnam now has 19,000 students studying in the US.

The Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership is growing thanks to the efforts of both countries and a spirit of putting the past behind, overcoming differences, promoting similarities, and looking towards the future, which was mentioned by Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong during his visit to the US in July, 2015.

President Obama’s visit was an important step in the implementation of the two countries’ Joint Vision Statement, signalling a change in the thinking of American leaders since President George W. Bush’s 2006 visit to greater respect for Vietnam’s political regime. President Obama saying his heart has been touched by the kindness of the Vietnamese people is a vivid demonstration of the thriving comprehensive partnership between the former foes.