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Jun 11, 2022 / 13:36

US extends energy, climate priorities to Vietnam

Washington affirms that the presence of US companies in Vietnam reflects the bilateral deep commitment to helping the nation achieve its climate sustainability goals.

US and Vietnamese senior officials have discussed the United States’ energy and climate priorities in a visit  to Vietnam which concluded on June 10 by Pamela Phan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia for the International Trade Administration.

 US delegation including Pamela Phan DAS for Asia, USTDA Director Enoh Ebong, Amcham Hanoi Chairman, US-ASEAN Business Council Country Director, and business delegates from 10 US companies in the clean energy sector during their working visit to Vietnam. Photos: US Embassy in Hanoi

Joined in Hanoi by US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) Director Enoh T. Ebong and representatives of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), Pamela Phan met with senior leaders at Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Central Economic Committee.

During these meetings, Phan lauded the country’s participation in the recently launched Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), a top Biden-Harris Administration priority to increase US private sector engagement in the region.

She also discussed the United States’ energy and climate priorities, Vietnamese investment in the US, and the importance of secure, interoperable cross-border data flows.

Vietnam is one of the destinations in the three-country Clean EDGE (Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy) Asia Business Development Mission, in which a delegation of senior US government officials and business executives wrapped a series of clean energy-focused bilateral engagements and meetings with prospective buyers, distributors, and investors. Two other stops include Indonesia and the Philippines.

“It is an important moment for Vietnam as this fast-growing and vibrant economy works toward a greener future,” said Phan. “The presence of these US companies on this historic mission is a reflection of our deep commitment to helping the nation achieve its climate, energy, and sustainability goals,” she added.  

Meanwhile, USTDA Director Enoh T. Ebong stated” “USTDA has been at the forefront of Vietnam’s energy sector development for more than 25 years. This mission has demonstrated the country’s tremendous potential to become a regional clean energy leader.”

“Working with US industry, USTDA intends to build its portfolio of sustainable infrastructure activities to support Vietnam’s dynamic economic growth and help achieve its long-term climate goals,” she emphasized.  

Christopher Day, EXIM’s Senior Vice President said the agency’s commitment to financing US goods and services that that can support clean energy projects in Vietnam.

“EXIM has worked with Vietnam in several other transactions to finance purchases of US goods and services in the transportation and capital equipment sectors and looks forward to working in Vietnam to support clean energy initiatives going forward,” he said.

During the mission, Phan held conversations with private sector representatives to gather input on opportunities to enhance commercial ties and overcome challenges US businesses are facing in the Vietnamese market.

In Hanoi, she met with the American Chamber of Commerce and the US-ASEAN Business Council to debrief on the mission and discuss the potential market opportunities and challenges for US companies. In Ho Chi Minh City, she participated in a roundtable discussion on clean energy in Vietnam and met with the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee. In both cities, she participated in a lunch with leading businesswomen for discussions on economic policies and ways to support women in trade.

Melissa Bishop, Charge d’affaires a.i. of the US Mission to Vietnam, welcomed the delegation, stating: “A clean energy future in Vietnam is possible when governments and companies work together on solutions that meet our common goals of keeping our communities safe, securing our energy future, and being responsible stewards of our global environment.”

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and Vietnam's President Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi in February 2022. 

Energy and climate adaptation are among the key pillars of the US-Vietnam relations. US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper ever said that the US is a solid, and committed partner to helping Vietnam realize its ambitious COP26 goals.

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry in his visit to Vietnam in February 2022 reaffirmed further US-Vietnam engagement on climate and clean energy action, discussing how the US can support Vietnam in its transition to a clean energy economy.

In the meetings with Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, and cabinet leaders, Kerry welcomed Vietnam’s pledges to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and to phase out coal consumption by 2040 and committed to supporting Vietnam to reach these goals.

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, in her speech at the Fulbright University Vietnam on June 11, said the Biden-Harris administration has put tackling the climate crisis front and center. The US is supporting its partners and friends like Vietnam in accelerating the transition to clean polluting energy systems.

She said this year, the US launched a US$5.3-million project to build Vietnam’s first utility-scale battery energy storage system at a solar farm in central Vietnam.