Prof., Ph.D. Nguyen Mai, chairman of Vietnam’s Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises.
Trade between the U.S. and Vietnam is set to soar thanks to cuts in import-export tariffs under TPP
commitments. As Vietnam aims its external trade to reach 300 billion USD by 2020, American companies will increase manufacturing activity in Vietnam and reimport made-in-Vietnam products, Mr. Mai explained.
Prof. Mai pointed out that U.S. investment in Vietnam remains modest in comparison with that from South Korea and Japan although the U.S. government and ambassadors have stated the U.S. is the No. 1 investor in Vietnam and many American businesses have initiated talks on investment here.
Trade turnover between America and Vietnam, meanwhile, has leaped dozens of times since the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) took effect in 2001, he added.
TPP offers huge opportunities for Vietnam, but Vietnam needs to overcome challenges by carrying out legal and institutional reforms. “Customs procedures have been streamlined recently, but foreign and domestic businesses still complain of cumbersome paperwork and corruption”, Mr. Mai stresses.
If the institutional reform is not well implemented, Vietnam will not be able to meet expectations for GDP and trade growth with TPP.
Among major U.S. investments in Vietnam, Intel has several projects, including a chip manufacturing plant. Microsoft plans to scale up its investment in the northern province of Bac Ninh to 1.5 billion USD from 150 million USD.
American investors registered to invest 155.9 million USD in Vietnam in the first nine months of this year, ranking 17th among countries and territories investing in the Southeast Asian country.