Elevation of relations with Vietnam helps promote US partnership with ASEAN: Diplomat

The Vietnam visit by President Joe Biden is an historic event and the upgrading of the Vietnam-US relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership is very meaningful, stated US Ambassador to ASEAN Yohannes Abraham.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency, the US diplomat said that the elevation of the US-Vietnam relationship to the highest level of Vietnam's diplomatic relationship shows the already strong, growing and enduring ties between the US and Vietnam.

This is the foundation for a sustainable and win-win partnership with shared opportunities and joint efforts in coping with global challenges in the future, he said.

Regarding the potential of cooperation between the US and Vietnam in the coming time, the ambassador said that leaders of the two sides have outlined a broad range of fields where the two countries are going to work together even more closely on issues that matter most to their future, especially the economy.

The US is currently the number-one export market of Vietnam, while Vietnam is the eighth biggest trade partner of the US, he noted.

The upgrade of the US-Vietnam relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership makes the bilateral partnership deeper and more comprehensive across various fields of science, technology, innovation, digital economy, semiconductors – all places where the two sides can enhance economic growth together and promote the security of our supply chains, he stated, adding it also helps foster the US-ASEAN relations.

The diplomat said that during meetings with Vietnamese leaders, President Biden reaffirmed commitments to ASEAN centrality and pledged to cooperate more closely with the association at multilateral forums such as the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and other ASEAN-led mechanisms.

Therefore, by strengthening its relationship with Vietnam, the US adds value to its strengthening of relationship with ASEAN as a whole, stated the ambassador.

“Whenever we strengthen our relationship with one of the ASEAN member states, it only enhances our ability to work with and through ASEAN as a whole. And I think you saw that in the leader's statements, and you saw a reaffirmation in the statement between our two leaders of ASEAN centrality and the US commitment to ASEAN,” he said.

Ambassador Abraham also highlighted the cooperation potential between the US and ASEAN, noting that last year, the two sides also elevated their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

In terms of economy, the US is currently the leading investor of ASEAN with over 6,000 US companies operating across ASEAN member states, generating a lot of economic activity, including hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The diplomat said that the US Mission to ASEAN is focusing on finding ways to strengthen those already strong ties on the economic front and on all fronts.

The US has supported the association in developing the ASEAN Single Window to lower customs barriers between ASEAN member states to make it easier for businesses that are doing business across ASEAN.

“It's good for ASEAN economic integration, it's good for economic growth in the region, and it saved traders doing business across ASEAN over 4.4 billion USD since the inception of the programme,” stated Abraham.

He said that the US is working to support the establishment of an ASEAN power grid, as an important component of inclusive and sustainable economic growth is access to reliable and clean energy.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

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