BizLIVE - U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken talks about the potential of startups in Vietnam and U.S. investors’ excitement about opportunities in the country.
U.S. Investors and Businesses Are Very Excited about Vietnam: U.S. Diplomat
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken (second right) speaks at an innovation event in Hanoi on April 21. (Photo: Viet Khoi/BizLIVE)
During his visit to Hanoi, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken on April 21 met with innovators and local press at an event hosted by Vietnam Silicon Valley in Hanoi.
What is the potential of startups and the startup ecosystem in Vietnam?
I think the potential is without limits. I’ve seen some extraordinary innovations and ideas right here this morning. It shows incredible talent of the Vietnamese people, the creativity is without boundaries.
What is required to really help it develop fully is for everyone to be working together, the government, innovators, entrepreneurs, and education. All need to come together to support the ecosystem.
I am very optimistic today seeing great practical examples of Vietnamese innovation.
What do you think U.S. investors and businesses can do to support startups in Vietnam?
U.S. investors and businesses are very excited about Vietnam. They see tremendous potential. Already U.S. investments in Vietnam have gone up significantly. I think when the Trans-Pacific Partnership is finalized, that will open up more doors and investment opportunities.
What the investors is looking for is transparency and credibility. When they make the investments, they want to know they are investing in a transparent and stable environment.
So the government has an important role to play with the laws and regulations  
In the upcoming visit of President Barack Obama to Vietnam, what activities will be organized to boost economic relations between the two countries, especially startups?
Right now the White House is working with the government of Vietnam to finalize the president’s schedule, so I can’t speak specifically what will be on. But I know he wants to engage with young people, entrepreneurs, and innovators.
One of the things he is proud of is the YSEALI Professional Fellows Program that brings people from Southeast Asia to the United State, including young Vietnamese. So I am sure he wants to meet the people who have been part of that program  
The president is very focused on innovation, entrepreneurship. And I know he will be excited to see that in Vietnam.
Thank you very much!