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Nov 09, 2019 / 12:44

Vietnam, US biz strike US$6 billion deals during Secretary Ross’ visit

The visits took place in a time the US is striving to boost its influence in the Indo-Pacific region where China is increasing its economic weight.

US and Vietnamese companies and government agencies have signed deals totaling more than US$6 billion as the former seeks to balance trade with the latter.

 Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Friday witnessed the signing of five major business agreements and MoUs. Photo: Quang Hieu/VGP

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Friday witnessed the signing of five major business agreements and memorandums of understanding (MOUs) that will further deepen the US-Vietnam trade partnership, which are:

(1) Virginia-based AES signed an MOU with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to solidify cooperation on the Son My 2 Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Power Plant.

The government of Vietnam approved the project in September 2019, representing an investment of $1.7 billion. Together with the $1.4 billion Son My LNG import terminal, the plant represents a total investment of almost $3.1 billion and will play a major role in shaping Vietnam’s energy future by diversifying the energy mix.  

(2) California-based Varian Medical Systems signed an MOU with the National Institute of Medical Equipment & Construction for strategic cooperation on the maintenance and calibration of existing and future Varian Linear Accelerators.  

This will help maximize the number of cancer patients that can be treated on each Varian machine per day. To further the delivery of effective cancer treatment in Vietnam, the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) committed up to US$1 million to support a critical training program for healthcare professionals connected to the expansion of oncology services envisioned through the MOU.

(3) Vietnam Airlines signed two deals during the ceremony. The first was a multi-year engine service agreement with Connecticut-based Pratt & Whitney valued at approximately US$1 billion.

It also signed a multi-million-dollar agreement with Dallas, Texas-based technology company Sabre, adopting solutions that will strengthen their forecasting and inventory control capabilities, helping maximize revenue and setting the foundation for dynamic offer creation.

(4) Arkansas-based Murphy Oil signed the Block 15-2/17 production sharing contract (PSC) with Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), PVEP and SK Innovation.  

Secretary Ross led a delegation of senior US government officials and executives from 17 leading US companies to Hanoi on November 7-8. This visit is part of a larger trade mission to the Indo-Pacific region with stops in Bangkok, Thailand and Jakarta, Indonesia.  

While in Hanoi, the Secretary and business delegates met with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), and other Vietnam public and private sector stakeholders to discuss US-Vietnam trade and investment cooperation in the energy, healthcare, transportation, and smart cities sectors.    

The delegation is comprised of executives from AES Corporation, Baxter International, Bechtel, Bell Textron, Boeing, Capstone Turbine Company, Cheniere Energy, Citi, Honeywell International, LNG Limited/Magnolia LNG, Lockheed Martin, Qualcomm, Securiport, Sierra Nevada, Tellurian, Tesla, and Varian Medical Systems, as well as the American Council of Engineering Companies.

Trade between Vietnam and the US reached US$57 billion in the first nine months of 2019, of which the former posted a trade surplus of nearly US$50 billion with the latter, compared to a surplus of US$39.5 billion in the whole 2018.