Vietnam – leading partner of US in Southeast Asia: expert

Vietnam is a leading important partner of the US in the Southeast Asian region, said Elizabeth Freund Larus, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Mary Washington while talking to the Vietnam News Agency's resident correspondents in Washington D.C.

The ASEAN-US Special Summit that is taking place in Washington D.C. on May 12 and 13 has a special meaning to both sides after more than two years of impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

Larus held that the organisation of the event shows that leaders of member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the US realise the importance of ensuring common interests and the reinforcement of bilateral relations.

She said that amid the changing global geopolitical situation over the past two years, the ASEAN countries hope to maintain a balanced foreign policy, and the majority of the ASEAN countries currently have good relations with the US.

Meanwhile, the US is making efforts to promote relations with the ASEAN countries and paying more attention to the economic area, she said, asserting that the country is encouraging its enterprises to shift production and business activities to the ASEAN nations, with Vietnam considered a priority.

Larus said the US and the ASEAN countries are in a period of post-pandemic recovery, while underlining that Vietnam is one of the most attractive markets in Southeast Asia. The Vietnamese Government has created favourable conditions for foreign investors, as well as the country’s deeper engagement in free trade agreements and its increasingly open investment environment, have made it an ideal destination for US investors who are striving to reduce costs and diversify their supply chains, she added.

Commenting on the future prospect of US-Vietnam relations, especially in economy, the professor said that Vietnam has high potential as one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

With its advantages such as low labour costs, high levels of personal security, a long coastline and a stable political situation, Vietnam is attractive to US investors, she said.

According to Larus, the majority of US firms are optimistic about Vietnam’s economic outlook and considering expanding their investments in the country./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency