Secretary Penny Pritzker's visit to Vietnam

* President Truong Tan Sang on June 2 hosted a reception for the visiting US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker who stated that the US is keen on boosting ties with Vietnam in all fields. 
Pritzker said her visit aims to bolster bilateral affiliation, as part of efforts to concretise the comprehensive partnership that was set up during President Sang’s visit to the US in July 2013. 
With the new partnership, the two countries’ cooperation has become stronger and closely associated with regional and global development, she noted. 
The US official expressed her belief that bilateral trade and investment links will continue to grow, especially after the Trans-Pacific Partnership is signed and becomes effective. 
Speaking highly of Vietnam’s improvement of its investment environment, Pritzker said many US firms are interested in starting new businesses or expanding their current operations in the country. 
Mentioning the East Sea issue, she reiterated the stance shared by the US Congress and Government that opposed China’s unilateral and provocative move of positioning its oil rig deep in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, sparking tensions in the East Sea. 
She also voiced her support for the settlement of disputes through peaceful measures. 
President Sang said the two countries have seen remarkable progress in their ties, especially economics, trade and investment, since they normalised their relations. 
Last year, two-way trade reached nearly 30 billion USD, five times higher than that of 2005, with US investment in Vietnam rising steadily. 
The two countries are looking forward to stronger affiliation on the back of the TPP, he said. 
President Sang said he believes that with the support of Pritzker, the US-ASEAN Business Council, the cooperation of US businesses as well as Vietnam’s ongoing administration reform, bilateral economic, trade and investment ties will become robust in the near future. 
Vietnam and the US should work more closely to speed up the implementation of the joint statement signed in July, 2013, in which there were agreements on trade and investment, for their mutual benefits, and peace and stability in Asia-Pacific, he suggested. 
He thanked the US Congress and Government for their strong objection against China’s illegal placement of its oil rig deep in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. 
So far, the international community as well as the governments and researchers of many countries have raised their voice against China’s provocative act, supported Vietnam’s stance of settling disputes through peaceful methods on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and condemned the use of force or threats to use force in handling disputes. 
President Sang said he hopes the international community, including the US, will continue protesting China’s recent move of sinking Vietnamese fishing boat and ramming into Vietnam Coast Guard ships, damaging property and threatening the lives of Vietnamese fishermen and law enforcement officials. 
China has continued to use warships and military aircraft to disturb Vietnam’s law enforcement operations, he said, stressing that China’s activities are extremely dangerous and must be ended immediately in order to resume order in accordance with international law. 
President Sang underscored that Vietnam always hopes to work with the parties concerned to soon seek a solution to restore stability, friendship and cooperation for the interest of the region and the world.-VNA
* Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has told US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker that Vietnam hopes to work with the US to elevate bilateral cooperation in all fields, especially economics, trade and investment, in a practical and effective way. 
During their meeting in Hanoi on June 2, PM Dung expressed his pleasure at the growing bilateral ties, noting that US is now one of Vietnam’s leading partners. 
Holding that the cooperation potential between the two countries is substantial, he said the two sides should optimise their advantages and opportunities for economic affiliation to lift up two-way trade to a more impressive figure in the future. 
Mentioning the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation process, PM Dung asserted that once successful, the deal will benefit all participating parties. 
Vietnam has taken part in the TPP negotiations in an active and responsible manner, he said. However, as a developing country, Vietnam hopes that the US will notice the country’s difficulties and give it necessary flexibility during the negotiations, contributing to the success of the process, PM Dung said. 
Affirming that Vietnam will create all possible conditions for US investors, the cabinet leader called on US businesses to support Vietnam in the TPP negotiations, while persuading the US government to recognise Vietnam’s market economy, which he described as favourable condition for both sides to further their trade and investment ties. 
On the occasion, PM Dung thanked the US for their voice against China’s illegal act of placing a deep-sea drilling rig in Vietnam ’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. He said he hopes the US will continue expressing their objection to China ’s defiance of international law. 
For her part, Pritzker said the US attaches much importance to developing ties with Vietnam in all fields. 
She said her visit, for which she is accompanied by many leading US enterprises, aims to further boost bilateral economic, trade and investment between the two countries. 
She highly valued Vietnam’s efforts in improving its investment environment and consolidating investors’ confidence, as well as implementing its commitments from when it entered the WTO, while creating favourable conditions for foreign enterprises, including those from the US, to operate in Vietnam. 
Emphasising that there is room for both sides to beef up their partnership, especially in aviation, construction and energy, Pritzker said she hopes Vietnam will continue backing US firms to operate in Vietnam . 
She also stated that her country will work closely with TPP-involved countries, including Vietnam , to conclude negotiations at an early date, thus paving the way for their affiliation. 
US investors present at the function said they will support Vietnam in TPP negotiations and expressed wishes that the US Government will soon acknowledge the country’s market economy. 
Last year, two-way trade hit 30 billion USD, 50 times higher than 20 years ago when they nomalised their relations. 
The US exported more than 5 billion USD worth of goods to Vietnam in 2013, up 8 percent over the previous year, while importing 24.6 billion USD worth of goods from the country, a rise of 21.6 compared to 2012.-VNA