End of Vietnam Embargo Urged

From Agence France-Presse

President Bush should "reconsider" the economic embargo on Vietnam in the light of developments in Cambodia, a Vietnamese trade official said here Friday.

"The Cambodian problem will now be solved. It is time for President George Bush to reconsider his decision to extend the embargo," said Doan Ngoc Bong, secretary general of the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Bong pointed out that significant progress had been made in the Cambodian peace talks, with the warring factions due to sign a peace accord in Paris this week.

Washington had set resolution of the Cambodian conflict as one condition for lifting its crippling trade embargo against Hanoi.

Bong, who is here for the opening of a four-day Vietnam trade fair starting Tuesday, said the Vietnamese authorities had approved a total of 300 investment licenses worth $2 billion since reforms liberalizing the economy were put into affect in 1987.

Taiwan is the leading foreign investor in Vietnam with a total of $439 million, followed by Australia with an investment of $278 million.

Bong and his delegation visited Beijing last month to renew trade links frozen following China's cross-border punitive expedition into Vietnam in 1979 to teach Hanoi "a lesson" for invading Cambodia in December 1978.

"Trade relations with China will be fully formalized next year," Bong said.

China is also planning to open a trade exhibition in Vietnam, he added.

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