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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    4 September  2012

Vietnam President asks US to grant status as ‘market economy’


President Truong Tan Sang urged the US government to grant Viet Nam status as a market economy, making the comments at a meeting with visiting US Trade Representative Ronald Kirk in Ha Noi yesterday.

The country is seeking recognition as a market economy to benefit from the removal of trade and investment restrictions.

During a reception for the US trade representative, President Sang said Viet Nam always attached importance to relations with the United States and welcomed the new development in bilateral ties.

He emphasised that the two countries should bring relations to a new height on the basis of respect for independence, sovereignty and the territorial integrity of each nation for the interests of peace, stability and co-operation across the region.

Sang spoke highly of the role of the Office of the United States Trade Representative in consolidating relations between the two countries, particularly in the fields of economics, trade and investment.

He called for American businesses to boost investment in Viet Nam.

The US trade representative said co-operation in economics, trade and was among the main factors in the Asia-Pacific policy of US President Barack Obama.

Kirk affirmed that the US government also wished to see stronger development in bilateral relations between Viet Nam and the United States.

He expressed his wish that the two countries, along with other parties, would complete negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) soon.

On the same day, Kirk also held talks with Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh, which mainly focused on the TPP negotiations.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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