Vietnam, US to mark 15th year of diplomatic relations

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Vietnam and America will celebrate their 15th year of diplomatic relations this year, said US Ambassador Michael Michalak at a press conference on Wednesday.

The year will also mark Vietnam’s first time serving as chair of ASEAN, an opportunity for the country to take the leading role in maintaining security in the region, which is of great interest to the US, according to Ambassador Michalak.

Vietnam and the US have beefed up military ties over the last few years.

A number of events are on schedule to celebrate the anniversary, including a joint academic symposium to discuss US-Vietnam relations in the past and looking ahead to the next 15 years, along with a series of concerts and cultural events throughout the year. US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton will likely visit Vietnam this summer.

According to the ambassador, in 1995, bilateral trade between the US-Vietnam reached only US$451 million. By the end of 2009, the number was nearly $16 billion, making the US the top investor in Vietnam.

In other areas, the US is expected to assist Vietnam in establishing an information center supporting the work of the National Assembly, creating a fund to help Vietnam evaluate the feasibility and transparency of its infrastructure projects, and speeding up cooperation efforts in the US-Lower Mekong initiative.

Reported by Huong Le

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