US investment in Vietnam reviewed

The year 2010 is a special opportunity for Vietnam and the US to review and assess their progresses and achievements in investment cooperation after 15 years of the normalisation of the two countries’ diplomatic relations (1995-2010), said US Ambassador to Vietnam Michael W. Michalak.

Over the past 15 years, the US has become Vietnam’s biggest foreign investor with a registered capital of US$9.8 billion in 2009, making up 45.6 percent of the total foreign investment in the country.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency (FIA), in the first five months of this year, the US ranked fourth among foreign investors in Vietnam with 21 new projects totalling US$961 million and six existing projects asking for a combined capital increase of US$60.6 million.

From 1998 when the Law on Foreign Investment took effect in Vietnam up to the end of Jan. 2010, the southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau has been the country’s leading locality in attracting US investment, with more than US$5.6 billion for 14 projects. Meanwhile, HCM City has led other localities in the number of US investment projects with 191 ones, valued at around US$690 million.

Many US projects have entered the list of the country’s top 100 FDI projects, including the US$4.1 billion Winvest deluxe resort in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province which ranks fifth on the list.

Additionally, the official inauguration of the Vietnam-US business forum last April, marked by close bilateral coordination mechanism has been seen as another important milestone in the two countries’ trade and investment cooperation.

Executive Director Herb Cochran of the US Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham) said that Vietnam is considered an optimal investment destination for US businesses in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

That Vietnam is assumption of the ASEAN’s presidency this year has created more investment opportunities for both US and other foreign businesses.

US businesses have strongly invest in the country’s financial, banking and insurance services, hi-tech industries, pharmaceutical chemistry, energy, mechanical engineering, human resources development, communications, training and infrastructure development.

A number of US businesses are investing in building satellite plants in Vietnam to assist their factories in China and India.

Addressing a talks on Vietnamese businesses 15 years after the normalisation of the Vietnam -US diplomatic relations held in Hanoi last May, US Ambassador . Michalak said the US wished to continue negotiating and finalising the bilateral investment agreement with Vietnam in order to further expand investment cooperation opportunities for businesses of the two countries.

The US also wanted to accelerate its negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement with Vietnam and other partners and pledged to help Vietnam deeply integrate into the global economy, he added.

According to Deputy Head of the FIA Nguyen Xuan Trung, the Vietnamese government will carry out solutions to elevate its investment ties with the US, including assisting the licensed investment projects and boosting the activities of the Vietnam-US Consultation Council as well as negotiations on major joint-venture projects.