US President George W. Bush on November 17 paid his official visit to Vietnam, where he will also attend the 14th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.


President George W. Bush and President Nguyen Minh Triet review Honor Guards during the Welcome Ceremony at the Presidential Place Hanoi on Nov 17 2006. (VNA)

President Bush's four-day visit, the second by a US President, was made at the invitation of Vietnamese State President Nguyen Minh Triet.

At a reception held later on November 17 after an official welcome ceremony, President Triet expressed his belief that the visit would mark a milestone and help boost bilateral co-operation between Vietnam and the US. The Vietnamese President affirmed that Vietnam would do its best to make Bush's visit a success.

The US President said he and his wife had a good impression about the warm welcome by thousands of people in Hanoi. He affirmed that he would do his utmost to continue strengthen Vietnam-US bilateral relations.

President Bush invited President Triet and his wife to visit the US next year and the Vietnamese President accepted the invitation with pleasure.

The two presidents held talks after the reception.

Vietnam-US economic and trade ties have seen positive developments with two-way trade turnover up from US $1.5 billion in 2001 to US $7.8 billion in 2005.

Vietnam and the US have also expanded their co-operation in many other areas, such as healthcare, particularly efforts in the fights against HIV/AIDS and avian influenza, co-operation on counter terrorism and co-operation on resolving the aftermath of war. (VNA)

VN looks towards brighter future in relations with US: PM Dung

The Government and people of Vietnam always look forward to the future while building ties in all spheres with the United States in the interest of the two countries' people and for peace and stability in the region and the world.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made the statement at a meeting with US President George W. Bush in Hanoi on November 17.

PM Dung thanked President Bush and the US Government for their support for Vietnam's joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO), as well as the US leader's goodwill in passing a bill granting permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Vietnam and removing Vietnam from the list of countries of particular concern regarding religious freedom.

The PM spoke highly of the US President and Government's great assistance to Vietnam in preventing and fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS and avian influenza, expressing his hope for more help in the field from the US.

He also proposed the US Government increase development and humanitarian aid for Vietnam.

In reply, President Bush appreciated sentiments the Vietnamese people have given him during his first visit to Vietnam.

The President said he fully understood Vietnam's heart-breaking past caused by the US and was moved to know that Vietnam has put aside the past and look forward to the future. He also hoped that Vietnam would develop prosperously in all areas.

The US leader spoke highly of Vietnam's efforts in preventing and combating HIV/AIDS and bird flu, and expected that more Vietnamese students would study in the US.

President Bush invited PM Dung to officially visit the US. PM Dung accepted the invitation. (VNA)

Bush praises Vietnam’s rise, hopes for stronger ties

Meeting Vietnamese leaders Friday, US President George W. Bush praised Vietnam for its dynamic socio-economic development and expressed his wish that bilateral ties would be further developed.
Bush affirmed Vietnam was an important partner for the US and hoped bilateral relations and dialogues would develop further on issues of common concern.

The US President and his wife arrived in Hanoi Friday morning on a four-day visit to attend the 14th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Hanoi. This is the second official visit to Vietnam by a US President.

At a reception after the welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace, Vietnamese State President Nguyen Minh Triet expressed his belief that President Bush’s visit would mark a new important milestone in Vietnam-US relations.

Triet said that the visit would provide an opportunity for the US President and his wife to witness the Vietnam people’s warm sentiments towards the US guests and their enormous achievements in the renovation process.

The Vietnamese President thanked the US government’s support to Vietnam’s entry to the World Trade Organization and the country’s fight against HIV/AIDS and bird flu.

He praised the US government’s decision to increase its development assistance to Vietnam and proposed the US strengthening humanitarian aid.

The two sides agreed to make greater efforts to tackle the environmental toxicity at sites used as former dioxin warehouses during the war.

For his part, Bush said he and his wife have been deeply impressed by the warm welcome given by the Vietnamese people. He described Vietnam as a young tiger and said he would do his best to continue strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.

He congratulated Vietnam on its admission to the WTO and praised Vietnam’s socio-economic growth in the recent period and its active and thorough preparedness for the APEC Summit 2006.

He also affirmed US’s support for Vietnam’s integration into the world economy.

Meetings with Vietnam Party Chief, PM

US President George W. Bush(L) and Vietnamese Communist Party Secretary General Nong Duc Manh shake hands at a meeting at the Communist Party Headquarters in Hanoi. President Bush met with General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nong Duc Manh on Friday afternoon.

Party Secretary General Nong Duc Manh receives President George W. Bush in Hanoi Nov 17 2006. (VNA)

The US President congratulated Vietnam on its WTO membership which has been recognized by the international community.

He expressed his belief that Vietnamese leaders and people’s optimism and determination will achieve progress in the coming period.

Bush regarded Vietnam as an important partner for the US and hoped that the two countries would continue to further strengthening bilateral relations and dialogues on issues of common concern.

He said he would continue with efforts to call for the early approval of permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) for Vietnam as well as increasing humanitarian aid for Vietnam.

Manh said US President Bush’s visit to Vietnam is an important event, starting a new phase of development in bilateral relations and praised the US for its constructive contributions to the success of the APEC 2006.

The Party leader also briefed the US leader of renovation guidelines and important decisive policies set by the Vietnam’s 10th Party National Congress for national development in the new period.

He stressed both sides should exert greater efforts to further promote relations and the principles of independence, self-reliance, non-interference, equality, mutual benefit and respect with a view to developing diplomatic ties and maintaining long-term stability.

All pending issues and differences can be resolved through open, frank and constructive dialogue to bring bilateral relations to a new stage in the interests of the two countries’ people and for the sake of peace, stability and development in the region and in the world, said Manh.

Earlier at the Government Office, US President Bush met with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

PM Nguyen Tan Dung talks with President George W. Bush in Hanoi Nov 17 2006 (VNA)

Dung welcomed the US President to Vietnam for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM), and affirmed that the presence of President Bush will contribute to the success of the AELM.

He thanked President Bush for supporting Vietnam’s admission to the WTO, and welcomed the US’ decision to remove Vietnam from the list of “countries of particular concern” on religious freedom (CPC) and facilitating the approval of Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Vietnam.

He also praised the US for supporting Vietnam’s efforts in HIV/AIDS and bird flu prevention and control, as well as increasing development and humanity aid to Vietnamese people.

Economic, trade and investment relations between Vietnam and the US had achieved encouraging results, Dung said, adding the US now ranks sixth among the countries having direct investment in Vietnam.

Dung expressed his belief that with huge potential in economic, trade and investment relations between the two countries, especially after Vietnam’s WTO accession, the US would be Vietnam’s number-one investor and partner within the next five years.

In his reply, President Bush expressed his administration for Vietnam’s renewal process and congratulated Vietnam on its success in overcoming global challenges such as bird flu. He highlighted Vietnam’s development strategy and confirmed that the US would support Vietnam to realize its strategy.

The US President also stressed the two countries need to further boost bilateral cooperation to benefit more people, and he expressed his wish that the two countries and people would achieve more success in the future.

President Bush’s visit takes place at a time when Vietnam-US relations are entering a new period of stable and long-term partnership, particularly after Prime Minister Phan Van Khai’s visit to the US in June last year.

Economic and trade ties between Vietnam and the US have positively developed with two-way trade turnover increasing from US$1.5 billion in 2001 to US$7.8 billion in 2005.

The two countries have expanded cooperation in various areas such as healthcare, HIV/AIDS and bird flu prevention, anti-terrorism and efforts to resolve the consequences of war.

Party General Secretary Manh receives President Bush

US President George W. Bush, on November 17, affirmed that Vietnam is an important partner of the US and expressed his wish that bilateral ties would be further developed.

President Bush met with General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nong Duc Manh in Hanoi on November 17 during his official visit to Vietnam where he will attend the 14th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting.

The President expressed his wish for the two sides to continue their dialogue on issues of mutual concern and said he would move to have the US Congress quickly votes on the Permanent Normal Trade Relations(PNTR) with Vietnam bill. The US would also increase humanitarian aid for the country, he said.

The President said it was a pleasure to visit Vietnam, a country that is changing fast during the renovation process and is developing dynamically, giving good impression on international friends.

He congratulated Vietnam on attaining World Trade Organisation membership and described this as the world's recognition of Vietnam's efforts and development.

He said he believed that with optimism and strong will of the Vietnamese leaders and people to develop the country, Vietnam would definitely make great strides forward in the future.

General Secretary Manh welcomed President Bush's official visit to Vietnam and his participation in the 14th APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in Hanoi. He described the visit as an event of significance, opening up a new stage of development in the relations between the two countries.

The General Secretary briefed the US President of the renovation policies and important guidelines set by the 10th Party Congress to further develop the country.

The Party leader acclaimed the US's constructive contributions to the success of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting.

The relations between the two countries have experienced ups and downs, but Vietnam has advocated a policy of "put aside the past, looking toward the future" and the two countries have made efforts to overcome obstacles and to expand co-operation, General Secretary Manh said.

He further said that the two sides should make greater efforts to strengthen and boost friendship and co-operation on the basis of independence, sovereignty, non-interference, equality and mutual benefit, with the aim of enhancing constructive and friendly partnership, expanding comprehensive co-operation and promoting long-term stability, in keeping with the principle of mutual respect; open, straightforward and constructive dialogue; and co-operation in lifting the two countries' relations to a new chapter in the interest of the two peoples and for peace, stability, co-operation and development in the region and the world.

General Secretary Manh asked President Bush to convey his greetings of peace, friendship, co-operation and prosperous development to the US people. (VNA)

US President winds up Vietnam trip in thriving south

US President George W. Bush wrapped up Monday his four-day visit to Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City, the nation's commercial hub, where he expressed hope to promote commerce between the two countries. bush_in_HCMC.bmpIt is Bush's first trip to Vietnam, which hosted leaders from the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum over the weekend in the northern capital, Hanoi.

After a brief trading floor tour, Bush quizzed executives about the bureaucracy for business start-ups and the ease of foreign investment in a roundtable with American and Vietnamese executives.

He visited the Pasteur Institute, touring laboratories for HIV/AIDS and avian influenza research and promising to continue financial support.

He also paid homage to Vietnam's past with a visit to a museum displaying 10,000 years of human history in the region, tapping his foot and nodding his head to the beat of traditional drums at a welcoming dragon dance.

Meeting with ten business executives – five Vietnamese, five American – during the round-table discussion at the exchange, Bush said he was impressed with the country's emerging private sector and hoped to promote commerce between the two countries, they said.

"He told us that if he was young, and he wanted to make money, this is where he would come," said Sesto Vechi, an American attorney whose Ho Chi Minh City firm, Russin and Vecchi, represents many major US companies.

According to Vecchi, Bush also asked them, "Are you making money?"

Their answer: yes.

Vietnam's economy grew at 8.4 percent last year, one of the fastest rates in the world, and its fledgling stock market is booming. It now has 53 listed companies and has seen its capitalization increase tenfold in less than a year.

Participants in the business round-table told Bush that Vietnam had a vibrant economy with great investment potential – but that the country still needed to do more to improve its legal system and protect intellectual property rights.

"He listened to the positives and the things that need improvement," said Than Trong Phuc, country manager for Intel Corp., which is building a US$1 billion chip testing and assembly plant in Ho Chi Minh City.

The executives expressed concern that it was very difficult for Vietnamese businessmen to receive visas to the United States, due to the country's tight post-Sept. 11 security procedures.

Dang Thanh Tam, chairman of Saigon Invest Group, said Bush was interested in participating in an APEC program that would allow registered businessmen from the other 20 APEC member economies to travel to the United States without a visa.

"We are very pleased with that," said Tam, whose company is Vietnam's largest developer of industrial parks and just listed on the exchange last week, selling $200 million in stock.

Tam said he told Bush that Vietnamese companies want him to promote American investment in Vietnam so that their economic relationship becomes as good as their political relationship, which has grown steadily closer in recent years.

While the US is Vietnam's biggest trading partner, U.S. investment in Vietnam lags behind that of Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea.

"He told us that he hoped his visit to the stock market would stir up more American interest in Vietnam's financial sector," Tam said.

The executives said Bush expressed confidence that the US Congress would soon pass a bill fully normalizing trade relations between the United States and Vietnam.

Although the two countries have a bilateral trade agreement, US companies cannot take full advantage of Vietnam's entry into the World Trade Organization unless the trade bill passes.

Walter Blocker, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ho Chi Minh City, said the executives also asked Bush to make it easier for Vietnamese people to get visas to study in the United States.

Vietnam's university system still needs major improvements, and making it easier for Vietnamese to study in America could help improve the quality of Vietnamese management, said Blocker, country manager for the Gannon Group, a packaging and logistics company.

"The president was impressed with Vietnam's entrepreneurial spirit and the growth of opportunity here," Blocker said. "He wants American companies to participate."

Source: Thanh Nien News, VNA, Reuters, AP

US President in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

US President George W. Bush and his First Lady arrived in Ho Chi Minh City Sunday, beginning their one-day visit to Vietnam’s southern economic hub.

U.S. President George W. Bush greets a Vietnamese broker as he tours the floor of the stock exchange in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

President Bush and the First Lady, accompanied by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, were received at 7:30 PM at the Tan Son Nhat airport by Nguyen Thanh Tai, HCMC vice mayor.

President Bush paid a visit to the HCMC Security Exchanges Center Monday, where he held a round table discussion with 11 US and Vietnamese businesses.

Representatives of five HCMC-based businesses, including the FPT Telecom Corporation, Tan Tao Industrial Park Corporation, AA Construction Architecture Corporation, Toan My Trading Corporation, and the Refrigeration Electrical as Engineering (REE) Corporation interacted with six US counterparts with practical discussions and experience exchanges.

They also put forward questions and proposals to President Bush on matters concerning measures the US government would adopt to facilitate trade and investment ties between the two countries.

As scheduled, President Bush made his next stopover at the HCMC-based Pasteur Institute, where he was briefed on action programs the Vietnamese government deployed to combat the avian influenza and the AIDS pandemics.

The US delegation also dropped by the HCMC History Museum, where they were received by HCMC mayor Le Hoang Quan, and then came to the Municipal Zoo to enjoy art performances.

President George W. Bush will leave HCMC for Indonesia at 1pm Monday.

Unexpected VIPs

On the occasion of their visit to HCMC, President Bush and the Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who was also in town for a brief visit, arrived at a restaurant in HCMC, which came as an intriguing surprise for its owners.

Owner of the Tib restaurant in the city’s District 1, run by the family of Vietnamese late veteran musician Trinh Cong Son, said they had been asked to prepare to receive two VIPs guests, but failed to know their names.

“We were astonished that President Bush and Prime Minister John Howard would choose our restaurant,” Tib owner said.

The two VIPs and their spouses enjoyed Vietnamese specialties like cha gio (spring rolls) cang cua bach hoa (crab pincers), goi mit (jackfruit salad), and che hat sen (lotus seed sweet soup).

“That President Bush praised our food made our restaurant staff very proud,” the restaurant manager said.

By the end of their lunch, the two leaders also took photographs with the restaurant employees, marking an unforgettable night for its staff.

Source: Thanh Nien, Nguoi Lao Dong, Tuoi Tre. Monday, November 20, 2006


US President Joins Congregation at Church in Hanoi

US President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush on November 19 joined a congregation at Cua Bac church in Hanoi as part of an official visit to Vietnam where he is also attending the 14th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. bush_cuabac.jpg

"Laura and I were proud to worship with believers here in Hanoi," President Bush told journalists after the congregation.

"We were touched by the simplicity and the beauty of the moment. We appreciate very much the congregation for allowing us to come and worship with them," said President Bush.

The US President also expressed the hope that people all across the world would be able to express religion freedom and personal faith.

Source: VNA


President Nguyen Minh Triet of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was pleased to welcome United States President George W. Bush to Vietnam. Looking back on the June 2005 Joint Statement by President Bush and then Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, both leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress the bilateral relationship has made, resulting in a US-Vietnam relationship today that is multi-faceted and forward looking. It encompasses significant and growing trade and economic ties, an emerging military-to-military relationship, successful co-operation on health, and development issues, growing cultural and educational links, a commitment to resolving remaining issues stemming from the war, a shared interest in ensuring peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, and frank and candid discussion of differences. The two sides reaffirmed their efforts to ensure that bilateral relations are stable, constructive, broad-based, and conducted on the basis of sovereign equality and mutual benefit.

President Triet and President Bush applauded the historic milestone of Vietnam’s accession to the World Trade Organisation. President Bush reiterated his firm support for Congressional approval at the earliest time possible of Permanent Normal Trading Relations. President Triet confirmed that Vietnam would fully uphold the rules-based trading system embedded in the WTO and join other members in their efforts to create a level playing field based on fairness, openness, and transparency. He welcomed President Bush’s assurances that the United States would maintain open access to the US market and support Vietnam’s process of integration with the world economy. The two leaders anticipated an even greater amount of bilateral trade and investment, benefiting the people of both nations. President Bush also welcomed the Vietnamese leadership’s determination to accelerate the course of "doi moi" reforms, build the rule-of-law, and combat corruption, and held that such efforts are important for Vietnam’s economic vitality and favorable business and investment climate. The two Presidents looked forward to the signing of the Maritime Transport Agreement at an early date to further accelerate growth in the vibrant economic relationship.

President Bush and President Triet discussed the growing co-operation between the United States and Vietnam to address regional and global concerns. President Bush welcomed Vietnam’s active engagement in international affairs aimed at maintaining peace, co-operation and development in the Asia-Pacific region and the world, and noted his appreciation of Vietnam’s support for a denuclearised Korean Peninsula and the consensus views of the UNSC as expressed in UNSCR 1718. President Triet welcomed the reconvening of the Six Party Talks and expressed the hope that a peaceful solution for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula would be reached.

The two leaders pledged to increase co-operation to halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related technology and materials in accordance with international and national laws and each country’s capacities. They also pointed to the recent agreement on nuclear fuel replacement at the Dalat Research Reactor, and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the US Drug Enforcement Agency and Viet N am’s Ministry of Public Security, as examples of the diverse ways in which the two countries are workin g together to protect the safety and security of their peoples and others in the region.

The two leaders looked especially to co-operation on the health front as an example of the tangible benefits of the United States and Vietnam working closely together. President Bush praised Vietnam’s timely, effective, and transparent response to avian influenza in the country, which has prevented any further human outbreaks in Vietnam since October 2005. He noted that Vietnam’s efforts were a model for the region, and pledged continued US support in responding to the threat of avian influenza. As Vietnam is one of the focus countries for President Bush’s PEPFAR initiative on HIV/AIDS, the United States and Vietnam have also worked closely together to combat the scourge of this disease. The two leaders agreed to further strengthen the present positive co-operation. President Triet praised the work of the STAR initiative in Vietnam and the extension of this activity. President Triet also expressed appreciation for the US Government’s increasing development assistance to Vietnam and urged the US side to increase humanitarian assistance including through co-operation on areas such as unexploded ordinance and continued assistance to Vietnamese with disabilities. The United States and Vietnam also agreed that further joint efforts to address the environmental contamination near former dioxin storage sites would make a valuable contribution to the continued development of their bilateral relationship.

President Bush explained the National Security Strategy of the United States which stresses the importance to world peace and stability of the development in every country of full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. President Nguyen Minh Triet apprised President Bush of recently-promulgated laws and regulations on religious freedom that are to be vigorously implemented in all localities of Vietnam. The two leaders also noted the importance of continuing to make progress in the bilateral human rights dialogue and reaffirmed that it should be conducted in a comprehensive, constructive and results-oriented manner.

The two leaders expressed satisfaction with progress on resolving outstanding issues from the war and agreed that the two sides would continue co-operation in this respect. President Triet reaffirmed his Government’s continued efforts to assist the United States to ensure the fullest possible accounting for Americans who remain missing in action, through both joint and enhanced unilateral actions. President Bush reaffirmed US contributions to help obtain information on Vietnamese MIA cases.

Presidents Triet and Bush discussed co-operation in regional affairs, and President Bush praised Vietnam’s hosting of APEC this year as a demonstration of Vietnam’s active and important role in promoting trade and economic liberalisation and strengthening security in the region. President Triet noted the robust engagement by the United States with ASEAN, and looked towards increasing that co-operation through the US-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership. The two leaders pledged continued efforts to seek mutual understanding on issues of regional and global concern.

The two leaders noted the importance of high-level visits between the two countries to the development of Vietnam -US relations in the future. President Bush invited President Triet to visit the United States in 2007 to continue these discussions. President Triet thanked President Bush and accepted the invitation with pleasure.