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US And Vietnam Hold First Meeting Under TIFA

by Glen Shapiro, for, New York

20 December 2007

United States Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab met in Washington on Monday with Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Chairman of Vietnam's Office of Government, for the first ministerial meeting under the US-Vietnam Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).

The meeting was focused on Vietnam’s implementation of its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments, as well as on ways to further deepen trade and investment relations between the United States and Vietnam.

“We are pleased with Vietnam’s progress to date in implementing its WTO commitments and domestic reform agenda, which have generated striking economic gains and steadily enhanced Vietnam’s regional and global economic competitiveness,” Ambassador Schwab announced, continuing:

“We intend to remain actively engaged with Vietnam to support its ongoing work and help ensure that implementation efforts stay on track.”

During the discussions, Ambassador Schwab underscored US interest in ensuring that the commitments Vietnam made regarding its distribution and other service sectors are implemented in a transparent and timely manner.

She also urged Vietnam to take additional steps to improve its enforcement of intellectual property protection. In addition, the two ministers discussed agriculture, telecommunications, textiles, and other trade and investment issues, as well as Vietnam’s requests for further technical assistance to support its reform efforts.

Ambassador Schwab and Minister Phuc welcomed the significant growth in bilateral trade during the past year and the opportunity to further strengthen US-Vietnam trade and investment relations.

Two-way goods trade between the United States and Vietnam totaled $10.2 billion during the first 10 months of 2007, an increase of 25% over the same period the previous year.

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