US President Joe Biden is set to commence a state visit to Hanoi today [September 10] following an invitation from General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.
|US President Joe Biden. Source: VNA|
This marks President Biden's first visit to Vietnam since assuming office in early 2021, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of establishing the Comprehensive Partnership between the two nations.
During this visit, President Biden is scheduled to engage in discussions and meetings with General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and other prominent Vietnamese leaders, with a focus on charting future directions.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc has characterized this event as "exceptional," as it represents the first time a US president has embarked on a state visit at the invitation of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam. According to the Deputy Minister, President Biden's visit highlights the significant importance both sides place on each other in their foreign policy, particularly regarding the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.
"The visit underscores the US’s high regard for Vietnam's political institutions, the role of the Communist Party of Vietnam, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, and Vietnamese leadership," noted the Deputy Minister.
US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper has described President Biden's visit to Vietnam as "historic," highlighting the strong personal rapport between the two leaders and the respect conveyed towards the Vietnamese Party Chief.
Economic cooperation, trade, and investment are pivotal areas of focus in the bilateral relationship. The US remains Vietnam's largest export market, and Vietnam has become the seventh-largest trading partner of the US. Trade between the two nations has seen remarkable growth, surging from $450 million in 1995 to over $123 billion in 2022.
As of 2023, the US stands as the 11th largest investor in Vietnam, with approximately 1,200 projects amounting to a total capital investment of nearly $11.4 billion. Conversely, Vietnam has ventured into the US market with 230 investment projects, totaling a registered capital of $1.26 billion.
Moreover, there is a steady influx of Vietnamese students pursuing higher education in the US, with annual figures ranging between 23,000 to 25,000 students. This positions Vietnam as the 5th leading country globally in terms of the number of international students studying in the US.
Vietnam and the US reestablished diplomatic relations in July 1995, later elevating their partnership to a comprehensive level in July 2013. Over the years, numerous high-level exchanges and visits between leaders of both nations have occurred.
The first US president to visit Vietnam after the normalization of relations was Bill Clinton in November 2000. Subsequently, every US president, including George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, has paid a visit to Vietnam. Following in the footsteps of Trump, President Biden's visit marks the second time a US president has visited Vietnam during their first term since 1995.
Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Nguyen Quoc Dung believes that President Biden's visit heralds a fresh era in Vietnam-US relations, offering more favorable conditions for Vietnam to gradually assert itself on the regional and global stage, particularly in terms of value chain integration and global governance.