American CEOs Urges Biden to Give Vietnam More Vaccines
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|A batch of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US via Covax arrives at Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport, July 10, 2021. Photo: UNICEF Vietnam|
In a letter sent to the US President, the CEOs of companies like Adidas, Coach, Gap, Hanesbrands, Nike, VF and Under Amour have emphasised that Vietnam is an important economic and supply chain partner of the US, VnExpress reported on August 15.
According to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas), the corporate honchos have stressed that the US is best placed to provide the support needed to keep the supply chain going.
Vietnam "is now the second largest supplier of apparel, footwear, and travel goods to the US market. Further, Vietnam has become a major supplier of crucial inputs for America’s small but important footwear manufacturing industry," the letter says, adding about 3 million US workers are connected - through the value chains - to many millions more in Vietnam.
"The health of our industry is directly dependent on the health of Vietnam’s industry."
The CEOs have asked President Biden to accelerate the donation of vaccines and other materials to help keep Vietnam on a strong footing so it can quickly recover, noting that the crisis of their employees in Vietnam is also their crisis.
On August 10, representatives of Vitas and the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (Lefaso) had a meeting with the CEOs on how to procure more vaccines and resume production.
Vitas also hoped that the "health" of the supply chain between Vietnam and the US will be discussed in the upcoming trip of Vice President Kamala Harris to Vietnam later this month, so solutions to protect the supply chain can be implemented in September.
|A vial of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine produced in the US. Photo: AFP|
Last month, the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) requested the US and Vietnamese governments to speed up the distribution of vaccines to major suppliers of Adidas, Gap, and other brands.
The US has so far given 5 million doses of Moderna vaccines to Vietnam through the glocal vaccine mechanism Covax.
Vietnam so far has received 19 million doses of Covid -19 vaccine from the deal with VNVC, the global vaccine access mechanism Covax, and as support from other countries. This includes 11.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, 12,000 doses of Sputnik V, 746,000 doses of Pfizer, more than 5 million doses of Moderna, and 1.5 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine.
Around 12.5 million of the country’s 96 million people have got at least one shot of a Covid-19 vaccine. More than 1.3 million people have been fully vaccinated with two shots.
US – Vietnam’s largest importer
|Trade between Vietnam and the US increased to $75.7 billion in 2019 from juts $450 million in 1995 when the two countries established diplomatic relations.Photo: VnEconomy|
The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) cited figures released by the General Statistics Office (GSO) showing the US remained Vietnam’s largest importer in the first seven months of this year, with turnover hitting US$53.6 billion, up 37.4 % from the same period last year.
Last year, Vietnam moved up four grades to become the second largest exporter to the US, with its export turnover to the country surging 24.5 % to an estimated $76.4 billion.
The US has been the biggest importer of Vietnamese goods in recent years, importantly contributing to expanding markets, promoting production and increasing foreign currency income.
Besides traditional exports such as textiles, footwear and aquatic products, Vietnam has also shipped electronics, spare parts and wooden products to the market.
According to the Vietnam Trade Office in the US, the two countries have witnessed a strong breakthrough in the bilateral trade turnover, especially Vietnam’s exports to the US.
Statistics from the US side show that the two-way trade increased to $75.7 billion in 2019 from juts $450 million in 1995 when Vietnam and the US established diplomatic relations.
According to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai, the groups of textiles, footwear, aquatic products, electronics, components and furniture will have great opportunities to boost exports the US in the coming time.
Preparation underway for US Vice President’s visit
|Kamala Harris will become the first sitting U.S. vice president ever to visit Vietnam. Photo: AFP/Mandel Ngan.|
Vietnamese Foreign Affairs Ministry's spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said Vietnam is working with the US to prepare for the visit by US Vice President Kamala Harris to Vietnam.
"We welcome countries' leaders, including the US's, to visit Vietnam," she was cited by VnExpress as saying at a press conference earlier this month.
Hang said agencies in Vietnam and the US are coordinating to make preparations for the visit in manners to boost the countries' comprehensive partnership and contribute to peace, stability and development in the region and the world.
Harris's senior advisor Symone Sanders said in a statement on July 30 that she will head to Vietnam and Singapore "to strengthen relationships and expand economic cooperation with two critical Indo-Pacific partners of the United States."
The Vice President will engage with the two countries' leaders on regional security, the global response to the pandemic and actions to address climate change, among others.
Her visit to Vietnam comes following one by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who was in Hanoi on July 28 and 29 as part of a trip that also included Manila and Singapore./.
According to the Ministry of Health, Vietnam logged 9,580 new cases of Covid-19, of which 6 were imported and quarantined upon arrival in the past 24 hours to 7pm on August 15.
Ho Chi Minh City remained the country’s biggest pandemic hot spot with 4,516 cases while Binh Duong province registered 2,358 cases and Hanoi, 39.
The national total cases have now amounted to 275,044 and the death toll, 5,774./.
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