Cooperation between HCMC, US localities enhanced

Over the years, HCMC and various American localities have actively participated in numerous initiatives to foster bilateral cooperation across diverse sectors.
The HCMC delegation, led by Mrs. Nguyen Thi Le, visits the National Museum of American History to learn from their museum management experience.

The HCMC delegation, led by Mrs. Nguyen Thi Le, visits the National Museum of American History to learn from their museum management experience.

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) became the pioneer in Vietnam by forging a sisterhood relationship with San Francisco, California, USA, on April 10, 1995. Over the years, HCMC and various American localities have actively participated in numerous initiatives to foster bilateral cooperation across diverse sectors, thereby playing a constructive role in advancing the Comprehensive Partnership between Vietnam and the US.

Attracting US investors

HCMC is recognized as a prominent investment destination for American businesses. To date, there are over 1,800 projects undertaken by US companies in HCMC, comprising 601 direct investment projects with a total capital of US$1.6 billion and more than 1,200 instances of indirect investment through capital contributions, share acquisitions, and purchasing stakes in local enterprises, amounting to $0.7 billion. The bilateral trade between HCMC and the US in 2022 reached approximately $9.3 billion, up 3.8 percent compared to 2021.

Major projects by US companies in HCMC

In May 2023, Marvell Technology Group announced the establishment of a world-leading Integrated Circuit Design Center in HCMC, based on the upgrade of its branch located in the Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone.

More recently, the prominent US corporation, Intel, announced the completion of the necessary procedures to proceed with the second phase of investment for the Intel plant in the Saigon High-Tech Park. The investment for this second phase amounts to $475 million, raising the corporation's total investment in the city to nearly $1.5 billion after being officially present in HCMC for 13 years.

Prior to this, within the framework of the HCMC - US Business Forum in 2020, the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the HCMC Department of Information and Communications signed an agreement to sponsor the project "Technical Support for the Construction of a Smart City Operations Center for HCMC" valued at $1.5 million.

The project builds on the success of the previous project, "Technical Support for the Construction of a Unified Telecommunications-Based Emergency Information Reception and Processing Center for HCMC," which was worth $1 million and was implemented during the 2018-2019 period.

Moreover, in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic's influence, the American business community in HCMC, through the AmCham Vietnam Healthcare Working Group (AmCham CARES), provided substantial donations of medical equipment worth approximately VND5.2 billion to six hospitals in HCMC.

Additionally, US enterprises made individual contributions to bolster HCMC's pandemic prevention efforts. Notably, Intel Vietnam contributed a total of VND10 billion, and Nike Vietnam, in partnership with AmCham Vietnam, donated medical equipment valued at VND2.8 billion.

Mr. Dao Minh Chanh, Deputy Director of the Department of Planning and Investment of HCMC, has shared that the US currently holds the 9th place out of 120 countries and territories in terms of the largest total investment capital in the city. Despite the intricate global economic conditions since the start of 2023, the cumulative investment from US investors in HCMC has reached $271.4 million, constituting 13.84 percent of the total foreign investment in the city.

On this matter, Mr. Wade Cruse, Managing Partner for the Southeast Asia region at Bain & Company, a conglomerate with over 60 percent of its clients featured on the Fortune 500, announced that the conglomerate has officially set up its first office headquarters in HCMC after more than two decades of operating in this market to offer investment consulting assistance to both international corporations and Vietnamese enterprises.

The establishment of this office also aims to provide enhanced support for the upcoming influx of investments, primarily from US businesses but also from global investors who are keenly interested in Vietnam. In previous surveys conducted by Bain & Company in collaboration with its international partners, it was evident that Vietnam holds either the first or second position in their investment strategies for the next generation, particularly in semiconductor manufacturing.

Vietnam has also emerged as a significant investment hub for major technology giants such as Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Hayward Quartz Technology, NXP Semiconductors, and SK Hynix. These factors contribute to the gradual development of a more profound and specialized semiconductor industry ecosystem.

Strengthening collaboration across diverse sectors

In addition to drawing investors in the economic sector, HCMC and various US localities have bolstered their bilateral cooperation in recent years with numerous visits and working sessions being consistently arranged to facilitate partnerships in fields such as science and technology, education and training, culture, and people-to-people diplomacy. Notably, HCMC and New York City are currently in the final stages of crafting a memorandum of understanding, signaling their commitment to advancing collaboration and implementing future initiatives.

Most recently, at the end of August 2023, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Le, Deputy Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee cum Chairwoman of the People's Council of HCMC, led a working delegation to visit and work with three US cities in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Comprehensive Partnership between Vietnam and the US (2013-2023).

The delegation's visit yielded numerous positive outcomes. Specifically, the delegation initiated discussions and proposed cooperation in urban management and the establishment of an international financial center with the government of New York City. They also drew valuable lessons and fostered collaboration in the field of museums with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. Additionally, they explored opportunities for high-quality human resource training and capacity enhancement in economic and technological management leadership at Harvard University.

During the official visit, Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Le of the HCMC People's Council highlighted the significance of Fulbright University Vietnam in the realm of bilateral education and training collaboration. It stands out as a beacon project in the partnership between HCMC and the US, garnering the attention of senior leaders from both nations. She reaffirmed HCMC's commitment to fostering this partnership and providing favorable conditions for Fulbright University Vietnam to evolve into a premier hub for high-quality human resource development, benefiting not only the city but also Vietnam and the broader Southeast Asian region.

Alongside the growth of Fulbright University Vietnam, HCMC has forged collaborative partnerships with several renowned American educational institutions. These encompass Arizona State University (ASU) for high-caliber international human resource training, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for biomedical sciences, and the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) for research in environmental protection materials and the development of clean energy.

In the realm of culture, museums, and heritage preservation, in April 2023, the War Remnants Museum in HCMC and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) inked an MoU to collaborate to establish an exhibition at the War Remnants Museum in HCMC on joint endeavors of both nations in addressing the aftermath of the war. Scheduled to open in 2025, the exhibition will mark significant milestones, including the 30th anniversary of normalized diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the US, the 50th anniversary of the National Reunification, and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the War Remnants Museum.

Recent US delegations visiting HCMC:

• March 2018: Natalie Rogers, Chief of Staff to US Senator, Chairwoman of the Senate Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy

• July 2018: Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles

• November 2018: James Mattis, US Secretary of Defense

• December 2018: Ian Steff, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the US and Foreign Commercial Service

• February 2022: John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

• June 2022: Pamela Phan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia for the International Trade Administration

• June 2022: Wendy Sherman, US Deputy Secretary of State

• September 2022: John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

• March 2023: Melissa Brown, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the US Department of State

• August 2023: Mayor of Oakland, California

Other news