The United States has agreed to extend a 200-million-dollar line of credit to Vietnam to help it implement a historic market opening trade deal, President Bill Clinton said Sunday.
Clinton hailed the importance of the deal agreed in July in a speech to Vietnamese business figures at an international container terminal at Ho Chi Minh City port.
"The United States is committed to providing assist to Vietnam to help to implement this trade agreement," Clinton said.
"Among other things, we will establish a 200 million dollar line of credit to support US investment in Vietnam," the president said in the speech in the former Saigon, the site of the humiliating US retreat from Vietnam 25 years ago.
"And we and your government have agreed to begin an economic dialogue to discuss how we can work together to grow our economies is ways that truly improve people's lives."
No further details on the credit line were immediately available.
During Clinton's visit, US Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky met Vietnamese Trade Minister Vu Khoan in Hanoi.
The landmark trade deal was signed in July giving Vietnamese exporters access to US markets in return for an opening of Vietnam's economy to American businesses.
But it must still be ratified by the US Congress and by Vietnam.
In the 1980s, the Vietnamese regime began introducing limited market reforms while maintaining outright opposition to democracy and a free society.
In 1994, Washington lifted a trade embargo in place since before the start of the Vietnam War -- HO CHI MINH CITY (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)