On January 7, Consul General Rena Bitter paid a courtesy call on the Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Le Thanh Hai. Consul General Bitter thanked Secretary Hai for his goodwill and highlighted her priorities in Vietnam. First and foremost, the two countries are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, while many U.S. businesses continue to choose Ho Chi Minh City for new investments. Secondly, she explained that the U.S. has a very developed education system, which makes education an area full of potential cooperation. Third, she stressed that the United States supports a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam that respects the rule of law and human rights. Consul General Bitter also recognized the Party Committee’s support during Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Vietnam, which was essential to a successful visit. Mr. Le Thanh Hai voiced his appreciation for the new steps towards development in U.S.-Vietnamese relations, especially trade, investment, and education.