Time ripe for US firms to further engage in Viet Nam’s restructuring: PM


The time is ripe for US businesses to engage more strongly in the economic restructuring of Viet Nam, especially in finance-banking and State-owned enterprise equitization, according to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.


He made the remarks while attending a round-table talk on the US-Viet Nam investment cooperation in New York on May 30 morning (New York time). The event, held by Harbinger Capital and the Asia Group, drew executives of more than 20 leading financial groups, investment funds and firms of the US. He noted the US has become one of the leading investment partners of Viet Nam with 835 projects with a total registered capital of over 10.2 billion USD. Many leading enterprises of the US have been present in Viet Nam for years and are running successfully. With bilateral trade exceeding 47 billion USD in 2016, the US is the third biggest trade partner of the Southeast Asian nation. He briefed US entrepreneurs about the country’s socio-economic situation after over three decades of reform, opening and integration, stressing that Viet Nam has attained significant achievements, and become a middle-income country with increasingly extensive economic integration and a close partner of almost all economies in the world.



Viet Nam is promoting mergers and acquisitions in association with the equitization of State-owned enterprises in such fields as transport, infrastructure, food, telecommunications, agriculture, services, and tourism, he noted.


Regarding trade, he said the US’s export to Viet Nam is on the rise, expressing his belief that cooperation documents to be signed during this visit will help the two countries achieve a trade balance and optimize their respective advantages.


“That trend is not contradictory but supports each other. For example, Viet Nam imports machinery, equipment and some other products from the US while exporting foods that US consumers prefer like fish, shrimp, fruits, and footwear,” he said.


At the forum, participating US entrepreneurs assessed Viet Nam as a country with 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 strong growth of the business community.


President of Harbinger Capital Philip Falcone, who invested in Ho Tram Strip project worth 4.2 billion USD in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau, pledged to continue pushing US investors and businesses to pay more attention to the Vietnamese market, contributing to the enhancement of the bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation in the coming time.


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


Charles Kaye, co-chief executive officer at Warburg Pincus, described Viet Nam as a destination of investment opportunities with favorable infrastructure for investors to access retail services, health care, and new technologies.


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


Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said it is time for the US businesses to make quick decisions in implementing programs and projects based on recognizing investment opportunities in Viet Nam – an investment environment with distinctive advantages.


Viet Nam encourages US businesses to join in the equitization of State-owned enterprises, supplement capital for business development, and promote the transfer of technology, he said.


PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc recognized the open and candid sharing of the US leading groups’ executives, especially recommendations to improve the investment environment.


The Vietnamese Government will consider those suggestions when building policies in the coming time, he said.


The PM quoted President Theodore Roosevelt as saying, “Believe you can and you're halfway there,” and said the 20-year-old cooperative relations between Viet Nam and the US are strong enough to overcome challenges to achieve higher targets.


The PM told the executives that with open and attractive policies and human resources and development potential, Viet Nam will continue maintaining its position as a gateway for a dynamic ASEAN region, a strategic investment destination of foreign investors and an important link in the current global supply chain.


He affirmed that with the door opening wide and visible opportunities, Viet Nam always welcomes and encourages investors to such areas as infrastructure development, high-quality services, energy, manufacturing, tourism, and especially the capital market, which is of high demand in the country.


He asserted that the Vietnamese Government will continue 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 the US ones, to easily access business opportunities, potential and operation in Viet Nam equally based on mutual benefit.


He said he welcomes US businesses to invest in the medicine market in Viet Nam in a more competitive manner in favor of people.


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


Also on the day, the PM had meetings with executives of the US’s leading economic groups, which are launching big investment projects in Viet Nam, like Exxon Mobil, Coca Cola, Nike, and Harbinger Capital.


The PM reiterated the country’s economic reform and international integration policy and briefed them on economic policies and renovations that aimed to make it easier for domestic and foreign enterprises to do business in Viet Nam.-VNA