Economic and polical stability- great advantage of Vietnam

Ha Noi, Oct. 28 (VNA) -- Viet Nam's economic and political stability is a great advantage of the country compared to other Asian nations, said Citibank General Director in Viet Nam John Beeman.

He affirmed that the ratification of the bilateral trade agreement (BTA) between Viet Nam and the United States will benefit both Vietnamese and foreign companies exporting to the US market.

The Vietnamese market will become more attractive to foreign investors after the BTA goes into effect, John noted.

He further said that because of the BTA, Citibank will be able to help Vietnamese companies boost trade ties with US partners and US companies increase investment in Viet Nam.
The bank executive, however, noted that ratification of the BTA comes at a time of global economic slowdown, so, the demand for Vietnamese imports and the flow of foreign investment to Viet Nam will naturally tend to drop.

The country's living conditions and business environment have been markedly improved, the executive said, predicting particularly strong growth in Viet Nam's market for high-quality goods and services.

According to the Citibank official, considerable investment in infrastructure facilities, increased access to information technology, and a reduction in operation costs will strengthen Viet Nam's existing advantages.

He further said that when the BTA comes into effect, the local market will be able to turn out products and services of high value as foreign investors will expand the scope and scale of their business operations in Viet Nam.

Articles on market approaches of the BTA reflect Viet Nam's wish to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and its pledge to develop a law-governed trade environment. The commitment will make Viet Nam more attractive to foreign investors, the Citibank official said.

He, however, pointed out that Viet Nam must simplify administrative procedures, reform its tax system, and do away with elements that increase production costs in order to make itself more attractive to foreign investors.

Citibank is the first bank to offer e-banking services, provide money transfer and interest swap services, and arrange international syndicated loans in Viet Nam.

The total liability of Citibank in Viet Nam was registered at USD 253 million last year from USD 42 million in 1995.--VNA