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Vietnam-US relationship upgrade opens huge opportunities for new cooperation fields

The upgrade of the Vietnam - US relations to the comprehensive strategic partnership is opening considerable opportunities for both sides to activate new and breakthrough cooperation fields so that Vietnam can engage more deeply in global supply chains, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai. 

Addressing the annual bilateral trade forum held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 21, he highlighted Vietnam’s consistent policy of viewing the US as one of the most important economic and trading partners.

That Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and US President Joe Biden officially announced the relationship elevation to the comprehensive strategic partnership on September 11, 2023 has provided a solid foundation for bilateral cooperation to become more substantive in all pillars, with economic, trade, and investment ties remaining the central impetus for the countries’ relations, he noted.

Hai went on to say that Vietnam is positioning itself well to become a major manufacturing hub in the world. Its businesses have been producing a diversity of products with competitive prices and improving quality.

Given the post-pandemic situation and recent political and economic uncertainties, many enterprises, retailers, and wholesalers are stepping up diversification strategies to ensure supply sustainability, and they have chosen Vietnam as one of the strategic destinations of their global supply chains. This is a big opportunity, but great efforts from producers and exporters are required to grasp it, he said.

Suggesting new and breakthrough cooperation fields, the official said focus should be put on boosting Vietnamese firms’ participation in the supply of materials, components, and equipment for the energy, aviation, digital economy, semiconductor, and artificial intelligence sectors.

Barbara Weisel, an expert in international trade law and former assistant to the US Trade Representative, said that the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership showed the determination of the two countries to develop a dynamic relationship with many cooperation promises and bigger opportunities in the future. 

In recent years, she said, the Vietnamese market has been growing strongly and stably. Its young, educated, and entrepreneurial workforce and the network of free trade agreements have turned the country into a leading beneficiary from many countries and companies’ interest in supply chain diversification to guarantee better resilience and economic security.

Thanks to the shift of supply chains and other factors, Vietnam has recorded the biggest market share expansion in the US compared to others. The North American country has become the largest import market of Vietnam, accounting for nearly one-third of the latter’s exports. As of September this year, Vietnam’s exports to the US rose nearly 15% while the US’s shipments to the former have yet to post such strong growth, she pointed out.

Foreign direct investment in Vietnam is on the rise, Weisel continued, adding that US businesses from many sectors are heading towards the dynamic Southeast Asian market while an increasing number of Vietnamese firms, including electric vehicle producers, have also seen investment chances in the US.

The two countries should actively work together to build concrete and detailed action plans to enhance the resilience and competitiveness of the fields that both prioritise. They need to act quickly to generating economic benefits as global businesses are paying attention to new investments in the region and seeking to diversify supply chains, the expert recommended.

Do Thien Anh Tuan, senior expert at Fulbright University Vietnam, said Vietnam should continue creating optimal conditions for US enterprises to invest and do business, especially in the fields matching the US’s strength and Vietnam’s demand.

Besides, Vietnamese companies should improve product quality, build brands, and actively join global supply chains through the cooperation with US partners, he added./.

Source: Vietnam Plus

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