Three decades ago, the shadow of war loomed large over Vietnam-US relations. But on February 3rd, 1994, President Clinton lifted the trade embargo, marking a pivotal moment in history. Fast forward to today, and the anniversary resonates with the echoes of an extraordinary transformation.

"This is an exciting story to tell and an exciting anniversary to celebrate," declared US Ambassador to Vietnam, emphasizing the dramatic growth in bilateral trade: "Since we lifted the trade embargo in 94, since we normalized relations in 95... bilateral trade between the US has now reached $139 billion, which is... a 300 plus times increase since 1995."

The numbers speak volumes. Vietnam has blossomed into the US's 8th largest trading partner globally and its top partner within ASEAN. The reverse holds, with the US ranking as Vietnam's 2nd largest trading partner and its number one export market. 

This economic boom signifies more than just statistics. It embodies a shared vision for prosperity, as the Ambassador highlighted President Biden's commitment: "We committed to work with Vietnam to help it develop semiconductor industry and other high-tech industries, to work with Vietnam to build a workforce for the 21st century... who can help to work in the high-tech economy that Vietnam and the United States aspire to."

The focus extends beyond technology, encompassing the development of a skilled workforce capable of navigating the modern economy. This collaborative spirit underscores the potential for even greater achievements in the years to come. 

Another significant development emerged from President Biden's visit: the US government's review of Vietnam's request for market economy status. This designation, if granted, would streamline trade procedures and solidify economic ties.

US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper (Photo:VNA) 

"This is not a political decision," the Ambassador underscored, emphasizing the process's transparency and impartiality: "It's basically a quasi-judicial one... We the United States government're committed to an impartial and transparent process that is consistent with international rules."

With a 270-day deadline set by the Department of Commerce, the review is underway, paving the way for a potential landmark decision. 

The 30th anniversary serves as a powerful reminder of the immense potential unlocked by collaboration and shared goals. As both nations look towards the future, the focus remains on solidifying their trade and investment relationship.

"We are excited about the great work we have ahead of us," concluded the Ambassador, echoing the sentiment of a future brimming with promise. With transparent processes, ongoing economic reforms, and a shared vision, the US and Vietnam seem poised to write even more remarkable chapters in their economic partnership.

Minh Doan