Vietnamese Deputy Finance Minister Vu Thi Mai and US Deputy Chief of Mission in Vietnam Caryn McClelland signed the Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement between the two Governments in Hanoi on December 6, in the presence of Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.
Speaking at the event, Mai said that Vietnam always attaches great importance to its comprehensive partnership with the US, reflected through the Vietnamese Government’s efforts to remove obstacles for bilateral economic-trade relations and facilitate US firms’ business activities in Vietnam over recent times.
As part of the joint efforts in promoting healthy trade ties and cooperation between the two countries, in recent years, the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance (MOF), through the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDC), and the US Department of Homeland Security, through the US Customs and Border Protection, have endeavored to finalise negotiations on the Customes Mutual Assistance Agreement.
The agreement offers a legal basis for the official relationship and the cooperation, technical assistance and information exchange mechanism between the two customs agencies, aiming to prevent, detect and handle violations of customs laws. Particularly, in the context of the increasing Vietnam-US trade relations, assistance activities based on the agreement will bring substantive contributions to trade facilitation and contribute to the fight against trade frauds and the illegal transportation of goods across each other’s territory to evade trade remedies.
For her part, Caryn McClelland hailed the agreement as an important document in Vietnam-US trade ties, affirming that the US wishes to cooperate with Vietnam in various areas aiming to accelerate bilateral trade ties.
According to Deputy Director of the GDC Mai Xuan Thanh, the Customs Mutal Assistance Agreement will create a legal basis for an official relationship between the two countries’ customs agencies in implementing mutual assistances, contributing to deepening the comprehensive partnership between Vietnam and the US. This is also a testament to Vietnam’s foreign policy of active and proactive international economic integration, and one of the Vietnamese government’s measures to realise its commitment on trade facilitation in bilateral cooperation frameworks.
After the signing, Vietnam and the US will continue to implement internal procedures to put the agreement into effect.
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