Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on May 17 (local time) attended a Vietnam-US trade, investment and tourism promotion conference themed ‘Rediscovering Vietnam’ in San Francisco.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaks at the conference (Photo: VNA)
The conference, held by the national carrier Vietnam Airlines and two travel groups – Saigon Tourists and Thien Minh Group – to boost the cooperation between enterprises of the two countries and to introduce Vietnam to US friends and partners.
Addressing the event, PM Chinh highlighted the development of the Vietnam-US ties, benefiting both countries and contributing to peace, cooperation and development in the world.
The Government leader affirmed that economic, investment, trade and science-education cooperation is an important pillar in the bilateral relationship.
In the very challenging year of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, two-way trade still reached 112 billion USD, accounting for nearly one-third of the total US-ASEAN trade turnover.
The US is Vietnam’s second largest trade partner while Vietnam is the US’ 9th largest, he noted, adding that trade between the two countries has contributed to making Vietnam one of the 20 largest import-export countries in the world.
The PM expected the economic cooperation between Vietnam and the US to continue flourishing, mentioning a number of priority areas for Vietnam such as capital market development, digital and energy transformation, climate change response, tourism, and trade... and suggested US companies study opportunities and advance cooperation in these fields.
He also sought assistance from US partners in policy consultation, capitals, human resources, infrastructure, technology, and governance.
In terms of tourism, the US continually in the list of Vietnam’s biggest markets. Before the pandemic, the number of tourists from the US reached more than 746,000 in 2019, with the year-on-year growth rate in the 2014-19 averaging 11 per cent, PM Chinh said.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (third, left) witnesses the exchange of investment cooperation agreements between businesses of the two countries (Photo: VNA)
The PM said that thanks to internal efforts and the support of friends and international partners, Vietnam has put COVID-19 under control domestically and has completely reopened tourism and air routes.
The first major group of tourists to return to Vietnam after the official resumption of inbound and outbound tourism from March 15, 2022 was a US delegation, he noted.
PM called on foreign investors, including those from the US, to continue to cooperate with Vietnam on tourism in the spirit of ‘harmonised benefits, shared risks.’
Speaking at the event, US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper stressed that aviation, tourism, education, people-to-people exchanges are an important pillar in the bilateral relations.
He said before the pandemic, there were up to 30,000 Vietnamese students in the US and he is committed to helping roll out measures to double this figure, while at the same time, bringing more US students to study in Vietnam.
At the event, Vietnam Airlines has also introduced the direct flight between Vietnam and the US – with four flights a week between San Francisco and Ho Chi Minh city. The airline plans to increase the frequency on the route to daily flights next year, and at the same time is researching a cargo service between Ho Chi Minh city and Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Saigontourist Group affirms that it will utilise its partner network in the US and North America to help with tourism recovery and attract tourists from these lucrative markets.
At the conference, Vietnamese businesses discussed with US partners potential goods and services that can be imported to Vietnam, and business investment opportunities in the US.
The PM, along with the US Ambassador to Vietnam and leaders of San Francisco, witnessed the exchange of MoUs between organisations and businesses of the two sides.
Notably, Bac Giang province, Vietnam Airlines and US partners reached a cooperation agreement on export promotion and consumption of lychee and agricultural products.
Vietnam’s budget carrier Vietjet and UPS, the world's leading shipping and logistics group, also reached an agreement to transport international goods through the two sides’ extensive regional and global network and logistics infrastructure.