business takes a second look
Prime Minister, Nguyen Tan Dung, Boeing’s CEO, Alan Mulally and
Nguyen Xuan Hien, president and CEO of Vietnam Airlines, at deal
distance between Washington and Vietnam has closed considerably thanks
largely to the effective campaign of the U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council.
Founded in 1989, it remains one of the most vocal and active voices for
improving economic relationships between the two former enemies. “Even
with the success of the signed bilateral trade agreement, our work will
continue as we observe how the implementation process will impact on
U.S. business operations in Vietnam,” said the evangelical co-founder
and president Virginia Foote.
than 700 American companies are doing business in Vietnam—scores more
from offices in the United States. Americans even have their own health
center, Columbia-Gia Dinh International Clinic, in Ho Chi Minh City to
serve the locals and expats.
the country’s reforms appear to be more focused, there is a need for
more American companies, large and small enterprises, to take a second
look at Vietnam. The first time around investors were equally excited
after the first blush of doi moi or renovation in the late 80s. The U.S.
ventures that came after the initial normalization process were almost
uniformly disappointing. Many companies scaled back or others simply
packed their bags and went home. Now there appears to be a possible
second wave of cautious optimism and new investments associated with the
bilateral trade agreement.
Airlines year-end block buster sale of four 777s to Vietnam Airlines,
which has been valued at $680 million, has set the tenor for a renewed
and positive business accord between Vietnam and the United States under
the historical bilateral trade agreement ratified by the two countries.
are very proud to be preferred and selected by Vietnam Airlines, and we
are looking forward to strengthening our partnership with Vietnam
Airlines and CAAV as the airline becomes a major carrier in the
region,” exclaimed CEO Alan Mulally.
Burke, a youthful veteran of ten years in country and now a managing
partner for Baker & McKenzie thinks that “with the signing of the
bi-lateral trade agreement, Vietnam has taken huge steps to integrate
with the global economy and in the process created more opportunities
for US. business.”
like Rick Mayo-Smith of Indochina Capital Corporation in HCMC, are less
sanguine about the agreement. “Sure this deal will help improve the
level playing field here, yet the government must continue to be pressed
to continue its reforms in 2002,” remarked the savvy venture
market of 80 million consumers does offer an allure to multinationals
from AIG, Motorola and now Boeing, as Vietnam demonstrates its ability
to purchase significant goods and services.
Tragakis, head of American International Group’s (AIG) successful
Vietnam insurance venture and chairman of the Hanoi Chamber of Commerce,
adamantly believes that Vietnam will fulfill its obligations and open up
its markets. “ The Vietnamese know that they need full access to the
largest market, the US and so they are willing to make the tough
decisions and take appropriate actions to make this happen.” added
March of 2001, UPS 35-ton payload Boeing 757F freighters have landed and
taken off at the busy Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCM City. “Our business
is still relatively small but we do anticipate a brighter future,”
remarked Charles A. Adams, UPS Asia-Pacific president.
facilitate their business in the country, namely its weekly cargo
flights to and from Vietnam, UPS sealed a deal with Vietnam Airlines.
Goods are flown to Taiwan and then to Tokyo and Osaka before en route to
17 major international cities.
abundantly clear that Vietnam has made great strides since it opened its
doors and we continue to witness even faster developments in both the
financial sector and stock market,” added US-based Saigon Investment
Group LTD’s chairman Gene Schecher.
Saigon Investment Group is a Nevada corporation formed by Schecher, and
Mrs. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Dieu, president, a Vietnamese national. The company
was founded in 1997 as a vehicle to bring investment, technologies and
development into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. A license has been
granted to them to build a wafer semiconductor factory at the My Tho
Industrial Park in Cuu Long, near the Mekong Delta.
to the Washington based, U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, US. investment in
Vietnam in 2000, totaled $1.25 billion in licensed projects.
is already a great place for manufacturing and we believe it will even
get better since our workers are educated and we are even providing
training, remarked Nike’s Lalit Monteiro, general manager of their
Craft, an American consultant and entrepreneur, who has ridden the ups
and downs of business relations in Vietnam for 10 years believes that
the country is fully committed to moving forward with its reforms.
With this renewed sense of
optimism and Vietnam’s efforts to adhere to the new bilateral
agreement, the investment climate between Vietnam and the United States
may travel down a much less rocky road.
Market access for industrial and agricultural goods
• Sharply lowered tariffs on a wide range of industrial and
agricultural goods (with reductions of 30-50%)
• Phase-out of all Vietnamese non-tariff measures. Full trading
rights for US. firms.
• WTO-level protection for US. intellectual property within 18
• Market access for services
• U.S. firms may enter Vietnam’s market for financial,
telecommunications, distribution, audio-visual, legal, accounting,
engineering, computer, market research, construction, educational,
health and tourism services. Phased in over 3-5 years.
• Protection for U.S. investments, discriminatory treatment.
Local content and export performance requirements eliminated, and
much investment licensing phased out.
• Increased transparency through issuance of draft laws,
publication of all laws and regulations.
• The same normal trade treatment already granted by the United
States to over 130 countries.
© InternationalReports.net / The Washington Times 1994-2002