The President's Trip To Brunei and Vietnam - Briefings

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Office of the Press Secretary
(Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Vietnam)

For Immediate Release November 17, 2000


Expanding Cooperation Between the United States and Vietnam

The President's trip to Vietnam is the capstone of a step-by-step process to normalize relations that has been predicated on progress in getting the fullest possible accounting for American POW/MIAs in Vietnam.

Today, in a speech to students at Vietnam National University - Hanoi, President Clinton discussed the importance of the growing ties between the two countries and outlined a vision for advancing the relationship between the United States and Vietnam. The United States is increasing cooperation with Vietnam in several key areas - infectious diseases, science and technology, disaster relief and employment and labor issues.

Combating Infectious Disease and Other Health Threats

The United States is doubling its support for Vietnam's efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and other health threats. Beginning in FY 2001, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plan to allocate $22.5 million over five years to Vietnam for HIV/AIDS prevention, education, and care - more than double current funding levels. In addition, the United States will also significantly increase funding for HIV/AIDS programs throughout the Mekong River region. The new funding for Vietnam over the next five years will include:

Expanding Science and Technology Cooperation

Today, the United States and Vietnam signed an Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation. This agreement will facilitate cooperation between American and Vietnamese scientists in areas such as health, technological innovation and entrepreneurship, disaster mitigation and marine and water resource management. Increased cooperation in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, including typhoid fever and HIV/AIDS will strengthen Vietnam's ability to meet critical health challenges. The Agreement will expand joint research in a number of areas by:

Scientists and officials from the United States and Vietnam will also meet in Singapore at the end of this month to discuss joint research on the health risks and ecological effects of dioxin contamination.

Providing Disaster Relief

The United States is actively supporting disaster preparedness and relief in Vietnam, through a number of projects, including:

The United States has delivered a total of $741,645 in disaster assistance for Vietnam so far this year, including $497,645 in relief in response to the current flooding and $244,000 for flood early warning systems in central Vietnam.

Strengthening Labor Protection

  • skills training and employment services
  • social insurance and safety nets
  • Kemployment of the disabled
  • industrial relations and labor law
  • child labor, focusing on street children and child trafficking, and
  • workplace education and prevention programs on HIV/AIDS.

    Additional technical assistance programs may be added in the future.

    Additionally, Vietnam today ratified the International Labor Convention on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor, thus joining the United States and 45 other countries that have so demonstrated their commitment to ending the worst forms of child labor.

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