The deals signed between Vietnamese and U.S. businesses on Monday will likely pave the way for a dramatic wave of American investment in Vietnam after President Obama’s visit, said Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).
The U.S. is on the doorstep of becoming the No. 1 investor in Vietnam, said Loc at a business meeting held by the AmCham and VCCI in Hanoi on Monday evening.
The contracts signed between Vietnam and U.S. firms will take bilateral economic ties to new heights, said U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius on addressing the event.
In an interview with BizLIVE on March 23, the ambassador said if all the third-country investments are taken into account, the U.S. is already at least the No. 2 or No. 3 [investor] in Vietnam.
“I don’t think it’s gonna take very long [for U.S. to become the biggest investor in Vietnam]. U.S. companies are not waiting for the entry into force [of TPP]. They are betting on Vietnam and making investment decisions now,” he added.
U.S. firms had put $11.73 billion in 806 projects in Vietnam as of April 20, 2016, making the U.S. the eight-largest investor in the Southeast Asian country.
Trade between Vietnam and the U.S. reached $45.06 billion in 2015, rising 24% from a year earlier, according to data of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
At the event, a number of deals were signed between companies of the two countries, especially in the hi-tech, clean energy, climate change sectors.
Among them, First Solar Inc. inked a deal with Vietnam-based Thien Tan Group to supply thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules for projects the latter is planning to build in the country.
State-run energy firm PetroVietnam signed agreements in the oil and gas sector with Honeywell and Murphy.
General Electric (GE) and the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade signed a memorandum of understanding on developing at least 1,000 megawatts of wind power in Vietnam.
On the same day, VietJet Air and Boeing struck a deal under which the Vietnamese budget carrier will purchase 100 737 MAX 200 airplanes at a value of $11.3 billion.