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Apr 16, 2024 / 20:43

Vietnam, Apple set up task force for further cooperation

Apple has been the largest foreign investor in Vietnam since 2019, pouring nearly $16 billion into the country.

The Vietnamese government and Apple should consider forming a joint working team to help the US tech giant expand its operations in Vietnam, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh told Apple CEO Tim Cook on April 16. 

 Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) and US tech firm Apple's CEO Tim Cook in Hanoi on April 16. Photo: VGP

At the meeting, Prime Minister Chinh hoped that Apple's local operations would be long lasting and sustainable, and would play an important role in strengthening bilateral relations between Vietnam and the US on the principle of "harmonized interests, shared risks."

The Vietnamese leader suggested that Apple consider Vietnam as one of the company's key global hubs, encourage its suppliers to locate in Vietnam, and include Vietnamese companies in its global supply chains.

"More importantly, we hope that Apple will provide Vietnam with recommendations to improve the legal framework for science, technology and innovation, as well as strengthen partnerships with local innovation centers in the country, especially the National Innovation Center," he said.

PM Chinh also looked forward to Apple's help in "developing human resources so that Vietnam will have 100,000 high-quality technical engineers, half of whom will work in the semiconductor industry."

Vietnam's Prime Minister acknowledged Apple's ideas to help its local suppliers access clean energy, and introduced the guest to the National Power Development Plan VIII (PDP8) as the backbone for developing clean, renewable energy, and urged Apple to help promote Vietnamese cultural values to the world.

PM Chinh welcomed the Apple CEO on his first visit to Vietnam and congratulated the US technology group on its global achievements. He also praised Apple and its suppliers for creating jobs for Vietnamese through their operations.

"Apple products are very well received in Vietnam," he said. "Working with Apple in Vietnam has allowed local companies to play an important role in the global supply chain."

According to the Vietnamese leader, the Vietnam-US relationship is the foundation for Apple to expand its influence in Vietnam. In September 2023, the two countries announced the elevation of their relationship to the level of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, paving the way for increased joint efforts in all areas.

The partnership will focus on science and technology, innovation, quality human resources development, semiconductor and chip manufacturing, digital transformation, energy transition, climate change response, environmental protection and healthcare.

Vietnam has become a major trading partner of the US and is a member of 17 free trade agreements with some 60 nations and international economic organizations.

 Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the meeting on April 16. Photo: VGP

PM Chinh pledged that the government would create the best conditions for foreign companies to operate their local facilities for a long and sustainable time.

PM Chinh shared Vietnam's achievements in socio-economic growth after 40 years and paid tribute to the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam. He noted that Vietnam is taking measures to achieve three breakthroughs, namely human resources training, infrastructure development, and digital transformation to better serve foreign investors.

Vietnam is moving towards new growth drivers in the digital economy, green economy, circular economy, shared economy and a knowledge-based economy based on technological development, innovation and business start-ups.

For his part, CEO Tim Cook thanked the government and people of Vietnam for the warm welcome and said that the dynamic, energetic growth of local startup businesses will be the source of power for Vietnam's future development.

Tim also spoke highly of the targets and directions that Vietnam is taking, especially those regarding sustainable development, protection of Earth and humanity, and environmental protection.

He said that Apple highly values Vietnamese software and app developers as their creations are important components of Apple products worldwide. According to Tim, Apple has created some 200,000 jobs for the locals, and poured about VND400 trillion (US$15.8 billion) in 150 Vietnamese suppliers since 2019.

Acknowledging the achievements as the results of a win-win strategy, Tim expected that Apple and Vietnamese partners will together deliver better results in the future.

The US executive cherished the support of the Vietnamese Government and local agencies. He looked forward to working with Vietnam’s special team enhanced two-way partnership.

At the meeting, Tim also pledged that Apple will purchase more parts and components from Vietnamese suppliers, support Vietnam in science, technology and innovation, increase expenses for local partners, and broaden its vocational training program for a larger number of people with disabilities.

He also looked to promote Vietnamese culture to the globe, especially local filmography and music, so that the world will know more about Vietnam and its people, culture, spirit and landscapes.

Apple is present in Vietnam through more than 70 local suppliers that employ more than 250,000 workers to produce electronic parts, and complete Apple products for the market. The US tech giant has partnered with more than 40 sellers and authorized more than 5,000 stores in Vietnam.

In 2023, the US company opened its Apple Online Store in Vietnam and announced its partnership with Vietnamese banks to launch Apple Pay service. Apple is the largest foreign investor in Vietnam since 2019 with a total disbursement of nearly $16 billion.