US-VN relationship sees rapid development, says US diplomat

(VNA) The relationship between the US and Vietnam is pretty new, since it has been normalized just 15 years ago, but it has developed quite rapidly, said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Scot A. Marciel.

In an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency's Washington-based reporters on Dec.16, Marciel said that it “has evolved in a relationship in which we cooperate in a very wide range of issues".

"The US-Vietnam relations have expanded significantly over the years. We are working together in many areas: health, environment, and economic growth, and trade, as well as in regional issues, security, for example. Overall, I would say the relationship is quite good."

Regarding Vietnam's role in US foreign policy towards Southeast Asia, Marciel, who is also Ambassador for ASEAN Affairs, said: "For us, Vietnam is an important country, it's large, it's dynamic, it has achieved very rapid economic growth, which has created a large opportunities for the business community. And next year, Vietnam will chair the ASEAN, which puts it in the role of tremendous responsibility because ASEAN has a lot of works to do. It is going to take tremendous leadership. From Vietnam , to achieve the goal of ASEAN, we'll work well with Vietnam bilaterally, and we look forward to working with Vietnam as the chair of ASEAN."

Marciel thinks the prospect of US-Vietnam relationship is good, saying the two countries "have common interests, first in region, in seeing ASEAN be successful, and seeing economic integration, in working together to increase our trade and investment, working together more on security issues, health, education and environment. So there is an immense opportunity to continue to improve the relationship, broad it and deepen it."

To further boost the US-Vietnam relations in the years to come, the US diplomat assured that his country is going to work in support of Vietnam as ASEAN chair to promote the building of community in Southeast Asia and the two countries "are going to work together on economic recovery, and promoting trade in the region, including a trans-Pacific partnership."

The prospects for the trans-Pacific Partnership are growing, he said, adding that "right now, it consists of four countries ( New Zealand , Chile , Brunei and Singapore ) that have agreements. Other countries, including the US and Vietnam , have expressed their interest in participating. So I think there is a tremendous opportunity here to begin to build a broader area of free trade between the West and the East, and certainly Vietnam is an important player in that."

According to the US Deputy Assistant Secretary, there are some areas of differences between the two countries, however, "it's important that we continue to talk about those areas," he assured VNA reporters.

Vietnam has over the last 10 or 15 years created a perception of being a place that is moving ahead in terms of reform. So, it has created a favorable environment that has attracted a lot of US companies, affirmed the diplomat.

However, he deemed it necessary to have further reforms in Vietnam , including important things like the rule of laws, ability to do research, sharing information, the use of internet which is very important for companies./.