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Vietnam Today

PM urges US firms to do more business in Vietnam

Released at: 16:04, 31/05/2017

PM urges US firms to do more business in Vietnam

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (second from left) at the round table talk. Photo: VNA

Time is ripe for US businesses to engage more strongly in Vietnam's economic restructuring, PM tells roundtable in New York.

by Nguyen Quoc

Addressing a roundtable discussion on US-Vietnam investment cooperation in New York on May 30 (local time), Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the time is ripe for US businesses to engage more strongly in Vietnam’s economic restructuring, especially in banking and finance and State-owned enterprise (SOE) equitization, the Vietnam News Agency reports.

Held by Harbinger Capital and the Asia Group, the roundtable attracted executives of more than 20 leading US financial groups, investment funds, and enterprises.

The PM, who is on an official visit to the US, highlighted the fact that the US has become one of the leading investment partners of Vietnam, with 835 projects and total registered capital of over $10.2 billion. Many leading US enterprises have been present in the country for many years and are operating successfully. With bilateral trade exceeding $47 billion in 2016, the US is Vietnam’s third-largest trade partner.

He briefed the US entrepreneurs on the country’s socioeconomic situation after more than three decades of reform, its opening up and its integration process, emphasizing that Vietnam has recorded significant achievements and become a middle-income country with increasingly extensive economic integration and close partnerships with almost all economies in the world.

It is promoting mergers and acquisitions in association with the equitization of SOEs in such fields as transport, infrastructure, food, telecommunications, agriculture, services and tourism, the PM noted.

Regarding trade, he said that US exports to Vietnam are on the rise and expressed a belief that cooperation documents to be signed during his visit will help the two countries achieve a trade balance and optimize their respective advantages.

“Trade supports both,” he said. “For example, Vietnam imports machinery, equipment and some other products from the US, while exporting food that US consumers prefer, like fish, shrimp, fruit, and footwear.”

US entrepreneurs at the roundtable said that Vietnam has rich investment potential in various spheres, abundant human resources, social and political stability, increasing integration into the world, and a strong resolve to promote the growth of the business community.

President of Harbinger Capital, Mr. Philip Falcone, who invested in the $4.2-billion Ho Tram Strip project in the southern province of Ba Ria Vung Tau, pledged to continue pushing US investors and businesses to pay more attention to Vietnam, contributing to the enhancement of bilateral economic, trade, and investment cooperation in the future.

He hoped the Vietnamese Government would create more conditions for US enterprises to make long-term and stable investments.

Mr. Charles Kaye, Co-Chief Executive Officer at Warburg Pincus, described Vietnam as a destination of investment opportunity with favorable infrastructure for investors to access retail services, healthcare, and new technologies.

The KKR Global Institute said it is preparing a fund of over $9 billion to invest in emerging markets, including Vietnam, a market with a young population, high GDP growth, and attractive global competitiveness.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung, who is accompanying the PM during the US visit, said it is time for US businesses to make quick decisions on implementing programs and projects on the basis of recognizing investment opportunities in Vietnam, which possesses distinct advantages.

Vietnam encourages US businesses to join in the equitization of SOEs, supplements capital for business development, and promotes the transfer of technology, he said.

PM Phuc expressed his appreciation of the open discussions with the executives, especially their recommendations to improve the investment environment. The government will take into account those suggestions when building policies, he said.

He quoted President Theodore Roosevelt: “Believe you can and you’re halfway there”, and said the 20-year-old cooperative relations between Vietnam and the US are strong enough to overcome challenges to achieve greater targets.

The PM told the executives that with open and attractive policies and human resources and development potential, Vietnam will continue to maintain its position as a gateway to the dynamic ASEAN region, a strategic investment destination for foreign investors and an important link in global supply chains.

With its door open wide and visible opportunities, Vietnam welcomes and encourages investors in such areas as infrastructure development, high-quality services, energy, manufacturing, tourism, and, especially, the capital market, which is in high demand in the country.

The government will continue its efforts to build an action-orientated and facilitating government, which is friendly to businesses and creates the most optimal conditions for businesspeople and investors, including those from the US, to quickly access business opportunities in Vietnam on the basis of mutual benefit.

He said he welcomes US businesses to invest in Vietnam’s pharmaceuticals market in a more competitive manner that favors the people.

Vietnam is ready to welcome US businesses to engage in the stock and bond markets and develop information technology, education and training, aviation, and other fields, he added.

The PM also met with executives from leading US economic groups that are launching major investment projects in Vietnam, such as Exxon Mobil, Coca-Cola, Nike, and Harbinger Capital.

He reiterated the country’s economic reform and international integration policy and briefed them on economic policies and renovations aimed at making it easier for domestic and foreign enterprises to do business in Vietnam.

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