US Secretary Mike Pompeo begins Vietnam visit

Update: 07:00 | 30/10/2020
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Ha Noi on the evening of October 29, beginning an official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.
US State Secretary Mike Pompeo pays visit to Vietnam
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US Secretary Mike Pompeo begins Vietnam visit
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh took photo with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The visit is to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between Vietnam and the US, according to the Vietnam Foreign Ministry on October 28.

However, it is Pompeo’s surprise visit to Vietnam as Ha Noi was not originally scheduled in his Asian tour that included stops in India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia.

The US Department of State late Wednesday (October 28) confirmed Pompeo would visit Ha Noi during his Asian tour to strengthen the US-Vietnam comprehensive partnership and celebrate 25 years of their diplomatic ties. He is scheduled to meet with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and several other Vietnamese officials.

Economic cooperation is expected to be one of the main topics for discussion between the two sides.

Vietnam is considered a rising star in regional politics. It is among very few regional countries that are to achieve positive economic growth this year despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also one of the countries that have successfully controlled the pandemic over the past months.

Meanwhile, the US wants to boost economic and trade ties with Vietnam. At the Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Ha Noi on October 28, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced the Vietnam Low Emission Energy Program II (V-LEEP II) worth US$36 million to help the country strengthen energy security.

Also at the forum, US firms Bechtel, General Electric, McDermott inked a deal worth US$3 billion to develop an LPG plant project in Bac Lieu province.

Pompeo hailed 25 years of US-Vietnam cooperation in a July 2020 statement, saying the US is committed to making the next 25 years of the US-Vietnam ties “a model of international cooperation and partnership”.

Vietnam and the US normalized diplomatic ties in July 1995. Two-way trade increased from merely US$450 million in 1994 to US$77 billion in 2019. The US is one of Vietnam’s largest trade partners, while Vietnam is one of the fastest growing US export markets.

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(Source: VOV)