VGP – A ten-year stretch is just a dot of the lifeline but it is enough to recognize the prime achievements brought back by the Việt Nam-US Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA).
The two countries set up diplomatic ties since 1995 but the ties would be officially and completely formed since the BTA came into effect since 2001.
The agreement opened up vast opportunities for trade and economic linkages, and as a result, it helped expand exchanges in other areas between the two countries.
Secondly, the BTA has partly driven the Vietnamese economy forward as seen in many aspects.
The agreement includes the World Trade Organization (WTO) trade standards and norms recognized and observed by the international community. Based on the Vietnamese National Assembly’s general review in 2001, during the term 2001-2005, the legislative body quickly amended or issued a series of laws to make sure that foreign and domestic investors are equally treated and protected.
Now, Vietnamese legal system is basically matched with the WTO’s regulations. The problem is how Việt Nam pushes up legal enforcement. This can be regarded as the biggest success of the economic integration cause.
In the agreement, Việt Nam commits to a transparent and open legal system that is developed with widespread participation of its citizens.
Thanks to fast advancement of the Internet and information technology, people are increasingly engaging in law-making process through various means and forms.
Contribution to the formation of Vietnamese businessmen
There appears a boom of Vietnamese businessmen now compared to ten years ago. They are young and featured with a growing interest in the US-style business.
Many of them have traveled to the US on fact-finding tours to study the business environment and scatter economic and trade seeds there.
For the past decade, Việt Nam ranked 10th in terms of the number of students in the US. They will further bridge the bilateral trade and economic ties in the near future.
Expansion of export
Export turnover to the US has accelerated far more than optimists can imagine. The figure rose to US $13 billion in 2009 from just US $400 million in 2000.
Việt Nam becomes the US’s 26 biggest providers of consumption goods, including garments and textiles, footwear, and wooden products.
In 2009 alone, Việt Nam’s export of these commodities outpaced Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Italy, gaining some US $1.4 billion.
Export to the US has contributed to the formation of new manufacturing industries like wood processing, elastics, electric-cable, while pushing up agricultural-aquaculture-tourism sectors.
Paving the ways for US investment in VN
Việt Nam has not signed any trade agreement that includes such a long “development of investment relations” chapter like its BTA with the US.
The US became Việt Nam’s top foreign investor in 2009 after a nearly decade of timid investment.
Multinational groups like Intel and Ford already have large-scale projects in the Southeast Asian country and many others are expected to do practical investment moves in the near future.