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NEWS UPDATES 9 March 2010

Vietnamese leader wants FTA with US

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Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has called on the US government to enter into a free trade agreement with Vietnam and lift trade barriers on Vietnamese products, reported

At a reception for Chicago Council on Global Affairs chairman Lester Crown in Ha Noi Monday, he also urged the US to help the nation cope with climate change and raising sea levels.

Dung said Vietnam wanted the US to join hands to speed up bilateral co-operative and friendly relations in various aspects.

He said the American war had killed about 2 million Vietnamese people and left hundreds of thousands missing, plus another 2 million people suffering from Agent Orange which the US sprayed on Vietnam during the war, not to mention the thousands who had lost their life or been injured by bombs and mines left over from the war.

The Prime Minister asked the US Government to co-operate in search and rescue activities, clearing unexploded ordnances, easing the aftermaths of Agent Orange and training human resources.

Vietnam, meanwhile, had been actively and effectively co-operating with the US in the search for the remains of US soldiers, he stressed.

On the Vietnam-US relations, Dung said the US was a major trading partner of Vietnam, with bilateral trade turnover amounting to about $15 billion, 10 times more than it was in 2001. Progress had been made in the areas of education and training, security, external affairs and coping with climate changes and it was hoped that would continue, Dung said.

Vietnam had responded by welcoming long-term and stable investment from US businessmen.

In reply, Crown said US businesses and individuals wanted Vietnam to continue creating favourable conditions for US investors, including those from Chicago.

Crown said he would work with the Chicago Council to speed up Vietnam-US friendship co-operation and relations.


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