US companies show ‘remarkable’ commitment to Vietnam: Ambassador

By Dat Nguyen   March 21, 2023 | 06:22 am PT
US companies show ‘remarkable’ commitment to Vietnam: Ambassador
U.S.-ASEAN Business Council President Ted Osius and executives from U.S. companies meet with representatives of Vietnamese Ministry of Finance, March 21, 2023. Photo courtesy of the ministry
American companies including Boeing, Meta and Netflix have demonstrated “remarkable” commitment in Vietnam by seeking local investment opportunities, said the U.S. Ambassador.

"It's pretty remarkable, and it really does show the commitment of the U.S. and U.S. companies to this market and to this relationship," U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper told reporters Tuesday.

"We see tremendous potential and actual business being done and the prosperity generated from it."

This week, executives from 52 U.S. companies are meeting with top Vietnamese officials, including Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, to discuss regulatory issues and investment opportunities.

The grouping of corporations is the largest U.S. business delegation to ever visit Vietnam.

American executives are keen explore opportunities in one of the fastest-expanding economies in the world, where GDP growth reached 8.02% last year.

U.S.-ASEAN Business Council President and former U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius said the large delegation signifies an ever-increasing interest in ASEAN countries compared to past eras.

"This part of the world is the growth center of the globe," he said. "There is quite a lot of interest in this dynamic region of 600-700 million people, 100 million of whom are Vietnamese."

Vietnam’s rapid growth rate has also helped attracted new companies that might not have been previously exposed to the country, according to Osius. He added that this has sparked healthy new competition for investment in the region.

"Representatives of other ASEAN countries are saying: We have to hurry up because we have to compete with Vietnam. That wasn’t something that people said a couple of decades ago."

Bilateral trade between Vietnam and the U.S. rose 11% last year to over $123.86 billion. The U.S. was Vietnam’s biggest export market last year with a value of $109.4 billion, up 13.6% from 2021.

American companies are seeking to grow their global manufacturing hubs and supply chains in Vietnam. Major U.S. industries aiming for expansion in the Southeast Asian country include semiconductors, FMCGs, toys, furniture, food & agriculture, digital economy, creative economy, financial services, and healthcare.

The U.S. business community is also seeing renewed in cooperation in the aerospace, defense, and security sectors.

Meta trained 20,000 Vietnamese small and medium enterprises in digital economy skills last year, and the social media giant plans to open more programs in the nation this year, said Rafael Frankl, Meta Director of Public Policy.

"This is a country where we believe in investment and an incredibly bright future. We have seen that in that last three decades," Frankl added.

The government of Vietnam has shown that it is open, especially in expanding the country’s digital economy, which will likely continue to be a key growth pillar over the next ten years, according to Frankl.

Additionally, AES Vietnam, a unit of American energy giant AES, has committed to investing $3.2 billion to develop a liquefied natural gas project in Binh Thuan Province. The firm is also looking for new opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

The company wants to support the Vietnamese government in establishing a mechanism for buying and selling electricity and promoting private investment in the energy sector, a company representative said.

go to top