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In Vietnam, US Treasury Chief Seeks Stronger Economic and Security Ties

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sits on a scooter while visiting a factory assembling electric scooters in Hanoi, Vietnam on Thursday, July 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)
In Vietnam, US Treasury Chief Seeks Stronger Economic and Security Ties
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U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. will seek to develop stronger economic and security ties with Vietnam.

Yellen held talks with Vietnamese officials Thursday in Hanoi. Her trip to the Southeast Asian nation came after visits to India and China. In India, Yellen attended financial ministers’ meetings of the Group of 20 major industrial economies.

The U.S. Treasury Department said Yellen met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. During the talks, Yellen told the Vietnamese leader, “The U.S. considers Vietnam a key partner in advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific,” U.S. officials said.

Yellen’s visit came as the U.S. continues diplomacy efforts that aim to build stronger ties with other countries in the Indo-Pacific area as China's influence grows among its neighbors.

“Vietnam is also a close economic partner, with our two-way trade reaching record highs last year and the United States serving as Vietnam’s largest export market,” Yellen said. “It is a priority for our administration to deepen our economic and security ties with Vietnam.”

Yellen visited an electric scooter factory and briefly sat on a new model produced by Selex Motors, a five-year-old Vietnamese company.

Yellen said the U.S. is prepared to provide $15 billion to support renewable energy efforts in Vietnam as part of the Just Energy Transition Partnership. This was a promise made by the Group of Seven economies to help Vietnam reduce its dependency on oil and gas. The countries have offered similar assistance to South Africa and Indonesia.

Speaking earlier to a group of businesswomen and economists, Yellen praised growing investments in Vietnamese industries including computer chips and renewable energy.

Yellen's visit is seen as part of new U.S. efforts to balance China's growing influence in the Indo-Pacific area. Earlier this year, Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Vietnam weeks after the 50th anniversary of the U.S. troop withdrawal that ended America’s direct military involvement in Vietnam. Blinken promised to increase relations to new levels.

Yellen also met with the governor of Vietnam's central bank, Nguyen Thi Hong. The secretary announced new economic policy talks between the State Bank of Vietnam and the U.S. Treasury Department.

Yellen thanked Nguyen for “close cooperation” between the U.S. and the State Bank of Vietnam on looking at American concerns over Vietnam's currency policies. She added that the U.S. would remain supportive of Vietnam's growth and that close economic ties would help both the Vietnamese and American people.

Vietnam has quickly become an important center for big international manufacturers. These include operations in Vietnam for South Korea's LG and Samsung Electronics, suppliers to Apple, and automakers like Honda and Toyota.

I’m Bryan Lynn.

The Associated Press reported this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the report for VOA Learning English.


Words in This Story

advance – v. to develop or progress

priority – n. something that is very important and that must be dealt with before other things

scooter – n. a small vehicle with two wheels fixed to the ends of a long board and a long handle

renewable – adj. any naturally occurring kind of energy, such as sunlight or wind

chip – n. a microchip: a very small part of a computer that stores information

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