He made the remarks while attending a round-table talk on the US-Vietnam 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 Vietnam with 835 projects with a total registered capital of over US$10.2 billion. Many leading enterprises of the US have been present in Vietnam for years and are running successfully. With bilateral trade exceeding US$47 billion 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 Vietnam 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.
Vietnam is promoting mergers and acquisitions in association with the equitisation 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 Vietnam 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 optimise their respective advantages.
“That trend is not contradictory but supports each other. For example, Vietnam 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 Vietnam 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 US$4.2 billion 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 Vietnam as a destination of investment opportunities with favourable infrastructure for investors to access retail services, health care, and new technologies.
The KKR Global Institute said it is preparing a fund of over US$9 billion to invest in emerging markets, including Vietnam – 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 programmes and projects on the basis of recognizing investment opportunities in Vietnam – an investment environment with distinctive advantages.
Vietnam encourages US businesses to join in the equitisation 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 take into account 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 Vietnam 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, Vietnam 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, Vietnam 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 Vietnam equally on the basis of mutual benefit.
He said he welcomes US businesses to invest in the medicine market in Vietnam in a more competitive manner in favour of people.
Vietnam 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 Vietnam, 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 Vietnam.