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US expects to be ranked number one in foreign direct investment into Vietnam

Speaking at the meeting, that was designed to find ways to increase investment, trade and technology co-operation between Vietnam, other Asean countries and the US, the chairman of the US-ASEAN Business Council, Charles Williamson said that the council members have a major interest and growing commitments to working in Vietnam.

He added that the increasing importance of Vietnam-US trade and investment relations was the reason the council chose Hanoi for its meeting. Vietnam is an attractive place for many American businesses, but the country must advance legal and economic reforms to reach full investment potential, the council reported. The US is ranked as Vietnam’s sixth top investor currently with around U$1.5 billion pouring into Vietnam. Williamson said the US expects to be ranked number one in the near future. In addition to the meeting, the council met with a range of Vietnam’s highest ranking leaders, including Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan, and ministers of foreign affairs, finance, trade, and planning and investment. Williamson said that the topics discussed with the leaders included legal reforms, intellectual property rights, environmental regulations, and import and customs tariffs. He expressed that we were most impressed with the level of leadership we experienced during this trip, and frankly - their understanding of the issues. We think Vietnam has sent a strong message to the US investors and other foreign investors that they are talking this seriously, Williamson said. Williamson added that Vietnam, while hoping to enter the WTO next year, was urged to increase its competitiveness in foreign capital return. Much of the discussion with the leaders of Vietnam has been to make sure that this country can be competitive with global markets, he said. “There are still many details to be worked out”. “We are impressed with Vietnam’s growth and achievements over the last few years. Robust as they have been, they have made Vietnam central to ASEAN countries’ brightening trade and investment future,” Williamson said. Highlighting its commitment to Vietnam and the interest of its members in the Vietnamese market, the meeting was the council’s second business trip to Vietnam this year. The US-ASEAN Business Council is America’s leading private business organization, and is dedicated to promoting trade and investment between the US and ASEAN countries. The group, which includes 150 American members of the Fortune 500 companies, has invested roughly $60 billion in ASEAN countries.

Vietnam Economic Review - (15/07/2004)

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