VN cities eager to link up with San Diego in US

(VNA) Many cities in Vietnam are ready to become sister cities with San Diego in the US in an effort to boost relations between the two countries as well as between their different cities, said a Vietnamese diplomat.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Le Cong Phung stated this at his meeting with the San Diego Mayor, Jerry Sanders, during a recent visit to the city.

Mayor Sanders showed keen interest in the idea of “Sister Cities” and pledged to develop it. He also affirmed that San Diego was ready to cooperate with its Vietnamese partners.

During his stay in the city from February 28-March 1, the Vietnamese Ambassador held several meetings with the municipal business community and various universities.

At the meeting with the business people, Ambassador Phung gave a presentation on Vietnam ’s investment environment and its economic, trade and investment activities with the US .

He told them that, at present, the US is Vietnam ’s largest export market, citing a 19 percent increase in Vietnamese exports to the US in 2010.

He also said that about 1,500 US-invested projects were currently operating in Vietnam .

The US entrepreneurs, including many of Vietnamese origin, said that they were interested in the Vietnamese market and the government’s updated policies on foreign businesses, as well as difficulties they may face when investing in Vietnam .

Besides talking about the advantages and efforts made by the Vietnamese government to attract foreign investment, Phung mentioned problems that are challenging the country, including poor infrastructure and regular shortages of electricity.

“ Vietnam is trying to solve the electricity shortages. We have worked with partners from the US , Japan , France and Russia on the building of nuclear power plants,” said the ambassador.

At his meeting with professors and lecturers from the city’s universities, Ambassador Phung emphasised the need for increased cooperation between universities from both countries.

San Diego boasts several well-known universities, including the University of California in San Diego and San Diego State University , where many Vietnamese students are taking training courses at various levels.

At present, about 20,000 Vietnamese people are living in San Diego, which is the fifth largest city in the US and the world’s 33 rd richest city./.