Council Welcomes Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Khiem

(Washington, DC) "Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem's visit here so soon after Vietnam's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) shows the importance Vietnam and the United States place on the relationship," said Matthew Daley, President, US-ASEAN Business Council to an audience of 150 of leading US business people today in Washington.

The US-ASEAN Business Council hosted the luncheon for Deputy Prime Minister Khiem with an audience of 150 government and private sector leaders. This is the first visit by a high ranking Vietnamese official since their accession to the WTO and the passage of Permanent Normal Trade Relations legislation by the United States last year. Deputy Prime Minister Khiem is in Washington in advance of the trip of President Nguyen Minh Triet later this year.

Prior to the luncheon, the Deputy Prime Minister and his delegation had a roundtable discussion with the sponsoring members of the US-ASEAN Business Council. During the roundtable, the Council commended Vietnam for its highly successful hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in November 2006, and its recent accession to the WTO. The number of companies represented in the roundtable demonstrated the level of US business interest in Vietnam and how now, more than ever, Vietnam is a fertile space for business and investment opportunities.

The roundtable participants included representatives from AES, Alcoa, Black & Veatch, The Boeing Company, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, DIAGEO, GANNON, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Liberty Mutual, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Oracle, National Pork Producers Council, South China Seafood, and Vietnam Partners LLC.

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For 35 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's membership, more than 160 companies, generate over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people globally. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.