Vietnam - US trade, investment ties expected to grow further

A delegation of 50 US enterprises arranged by the US - ASEAN Business Council (USABC) is paying a working visit to Vietnam from March 18 to 21, which is said to mark a big step in bilateral relations.

US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper (front, second from left) visits an industrial park in Hai Phong city. (Photo: VNA)

This is the biggest US business delegation coming to Vietnam since the two countries upgraded their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership in September 2023.

Prominent in the delegation are Meta, Boeing, 3M, Abbott, AES, AIG, Amazon, Atmo, Chubb Life Vietnam, Coca-Cola Vietnam, Dieago, Dow, Energy Capital Vietnam, FedEx, Ford, Manulife, Marriott International, Mastercard, PepsiCo Foods Vietnam, Pernod Ricard, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Roblox, Salesforce, SAP Asia Pte Ltd, SnowBridge Capital, Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverage, Visa, and Zuellig Pharma Vietnam.

On this occasion, US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper said the two sides agreed to intensify cooperation in all aspects, from trade, investment, and security to education and health care, and to continue promoting ties in the fields they are strong at.

Perceiving that it is necessary to utilize the comprehensive strategic partnership, he noted there are many foundations for developing the Vietnam - US collaboration such as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), and that it’s now an important point of time for fostering long-term cooperation.

Vietnam played an important role in global supply chains during the pandemic, and the US has boosted supply chain resilience by manufacturing such products as leather - footwear in the Southeast Asian country. It has been holding an important role in the US’s trade relations as well as security and economic ties, Knapper said.

The US will step up cooperation with Vietnam through the USABC and the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, the diplomat went on, mentioning the growth of bilateral trade over the past 29 years since the normalization of bilateral relations, with Vietnam now being the ninth largest trade partner of the US and the US the biggest destination of Vietnamese goods.

Highlighting the US as one of the top 10 foreign investors in Vietnam, USABC President and CEO Ted Osius said foreign direct investment (FDI) from the US in Vietnam rose sharply last year and this trend will continue in 2024.

US investors will invest more in Vietnam, and priority fields include technology, clean energy, energy transition, financial services, tourism, and defense, according to Osius.

For her part, Sarah Morgenthau, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs at the US Department of State, welcomed Vietnamese enterprises’ investment expansion in the US in the areas they have strength in like electric vehicle manufacturing. She voiced her hope that the US will boost investment in Vietnam as well as ASEAN at large, and vice versa.

Joseph Uddo, President of the US-invested AES Vietnam, noted his company has poured billions of USD into Vietnam and become a major investor in the local energy market. AES Vietnam is inspired by the country’s development orientation, which matches its expectations, and it is ready to support the Vietnamese Government during the energy transition process.

About the reason for the firm’s investment here, he said the country’s fast growth has led to increasing energy demand, which also creates many opportunities for manufacturing and artificial intelligence. Vietnam also offers numerous investment chances thanks to a population of 100 million, a young, industrious, and smart workforce, and a business-enabling environment.

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