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Mar 22, 2023 / 11:37

Largest-ever US business delegation seeks investment opportunities in Vietnam

The fact that the visit to Vietnam this time has the largest number of US companies ever indicates a shift in the investment wave to Vietnam and other ASEAN countries.

A delegation of 52 US major corporations has come to Vietnam to seek investment opportunities and cooperation in high-potential fields such as innovation, the digital economy, and the space industry.

 Overview of the press briefing. Photo: HT

The information was revealed at a press conference held by the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC) on March 21, noting that the trip marks the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam-US Comprehensive Partnership.

Senior executives from 52 U.S. companies, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX, Netflix, Apple, and Ford, will meet with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue, and heads of various ministries to discuss policies related to sales, supplies, and investment opportunities.

Ted Osius, President and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council, said Vietnam is the 8th largest trading partner of the US. He highlighted the strengths of US companies in areas of priority for Vietnam, such as the development of the digital and creative economy and the transition to green energy.

The fact that this is the largest U.S. business delegation ever to Vietnam indicates a shift in the investment wave to Vietnam and other ASEAN countries, Osius said.

According to USABC, U.S. companies are expanding their production centers and global supply chains in Vietnam in various industries such as semiconductors, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), toys, furniture, food, digital economy, creative economy, banking and financial services, and healthcare. In addition, the aerospace, defense and security sectors have attracted renewed interest from both the Vietnamese and US sides.

On the first day of the visit, the delegation met with various ministries and agencies, including the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Ministry of Finance. The meetings were fruitful, with U.S. companies finding that Vietnamese government agencies were open to sharing information, and ministry and agency representatives willing to answer questions and exchange ideas to find solutions, Osius said.

The USABC president said U.S. businesses are keen to explore cooperation opportunities with Vietnam, which has experienced a growth rate of up to 8% despite the gloomy global economic conditions.

In addition, Vietnam has shown high potential for further growth and is on track to achieve a GDP growth rate of 6% in 2023, Osius said.

Osius mentioned that at the Vietnam Business Forum 2023, the Prime Minister chaired a high-level meeting where he spent more than 4 hours answering questions from businesses. He said he was impressed by the Vietnamese government's openness and dedicated interest in solving the issues raised by partners.

Sharing the same view, Michael W. Michalak, the Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of the USABC, stated that FDI enterprises are satisfied with the Vietnamese government's open dialogue through forums and seminars, with a wealth of information being shared.

He also added that after the COVID-19 pandemic, the US is looking to enhance the development of supply chain alliances, including members of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), of which Vietnam is a member. This presents an opportunity that businesses need to pay attention to stated Michalak.

US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper added that the US government is keen to deepen its cooperation with Vietnam. The current visit of the business delegation demonstrates the US commitment to the Vietnamese market, which is full of potential and business opportunities, he said.

Last year, trade between the two countries reached more than US$120 billion. This year, bilateral trade is expected to exceed US$100 billion for the third consecutive year. Since the normalization of diplomatic relations, trade between the two countries has increased 360 times.

Impressed with Vietnam's economic prospects

During the press conference, major US companies such as Meta and AES presented their investment opportunities and plans in the Vietnamese market.
Rafael Frankel, Meta's Asia-Pacific director, praised Vietnam as a transformed and innovative economy with an open Internet network, impressive growth, and an adaptable and hardworking workforce.

In addition, the U.S. and Vietnamese governments have made significant efforts to promote cooperation between the two sides, with Vietnam poised to lead the region in green economy and technology. U.S. businesses are optimistic about the future and want to actively contribute to this process, Frankel said.

During the press conference, Squall Wang, CEO of UPS Vietnam, acknowledged Vietnam's remarkable development in recent years and expressed the company's desire to continue working with policymakers to create a sustainable trade environment by improving logistics.

Dang Thi Huong Lan, Foreign Affairs Director of AES Vietnam, highlighted energy as a strategic area of cooperation between the U.S. and Vietnam. With a remarkable GDP growth rate, Vietnam's electricity demand has increased by more than 10% from 2016-2020 and is expected to grow 8-9% annually, requiring an installed capacity growth of about 6 GW per year.

Lan said AES is working to accelerate the development of the Son My LNG terminal and the Son My 2 power plant, with an investment of approximately $3.2 billion. This will help diversify Vietnam's power grid.

 The meeting between the USABC and Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung. Source: MPI

March 21, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung welcomed a high-level business delegation from the USABC. Minister Dung emphasized his commitment to maintaining a transparent and friendly business investment environment and providing the best conditions for foreign companies and investors, including those from the US, to access investment opportunities, expand investments, and conduct successful, effective, and sustainable business activities in Vietnam.

Also on the same day, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai met with US business representatives to discuss mutual interests in areas such as digital transformation, green transformation, energy transformation, supply chain and logistics. U.S. businesses confirmed their intention to continue investing in Vietnam and expressed their desire to support Vietnam's efforts to maintain macroeconomic stability, develop a sustainable supply chain, and work together towards common economic goals and priorities.

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