U.S. Companies Discuss Ways to Improve Business and Investment Climate with Government of Vietnam

(Hanoi) – The US-ASEAN Business Council concluded its annual Business Mission to Vietnam today, bringing a delegation of 33 leading U.S. companies from a cross section of sectors to engage the Government of Vietnam on trade and investment opportunities. Over the course of three days, the delegation met with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Uong Chu Luu, and leaders of other key ministries, state-owned enterprises, and international organizations.

The mission was led by Alexander Feldman, President & CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council, Ambassador Michael Michalak, Senior Vice President & Regional Managing Director of the US-ASEAN Business Council and Wouter Van Wersch, President & CEO of GE Asia Pacific and Chair of the Council’s Vietnam Committee.

“Vietnam’s rally to close 2017 with decade-high 6.8% GDP growth is testament to the leadership and strategic vision of the Government of Vietnam,” said Alexander Feldman. “This economic growth, which surpassed the ambitious target of 6.7% set at the start of the year, was credited to foreign investment in the manufacturing and services sector. As good as growth was for 2017, first quarter growth is projected to be even better at 7.4%. With inflation under 3% and a stable currency, Vietnam is one of the world’s best performing economies. A large part of the credit for this growth goes to Prime Minister Phuc and his cabinet. who accelerated institutional reforms and has been a strong supporter of the business community since taking office in April 2016.”

“Following two heads-of-state exchanges in 2017 and on the heels of a historic visit by the USS Carl Vinson to Da Nang earlier this month, the US-Vietnam bilateral relationship has reached an all-time high,” said Ambassador Michael Michalak. “The strong showing of our delegation this year exemplifies the continued interest and commitment of the American business community in Vietnam.”

“Throughout the mission this year, a common theme in our discussions with the Vietnamese government was their receptiveness to receiving input and recommendations from the business community on ways to create a better trade and investment climate,” said Wouter Van Wersch. “As one of the first American companies established in Vietnam in 1993, GE is fully supportive of the Vietnamese government’s plan to maintain growth momentum and address structural challenges in its economy.”

Today also marks the start of the Council’s annual Health & Life Sciences Industry Mission to Vietnam. This two-day health-focused mission, which immediately follows the general Business Mission to Vietnam, brings 13 American companies from the Council’s health & life sciences committee to Hanoi to engage the Ministry of Health and discuss how U.S. businesses can support the goals of the government and strengthen healthcare in Vietnam. This mission is co-led by Alexander Feldman, Ambassador Michael Michalak, and Dr. Leslie Mancuso, President & CEO of Jhpiego and Co-Chair of the Council’s Health & Life Sciences Committee.

“The U.S. business community, as long-term partners of Vietnam, stands ready to support the Ministry of Health achieve its goals of strengthening healthcare and improving health outcomes in Vietnam,” said Dr. Leslie Mancuso. “The strong cooperation and regular engagement on health between the American businesses and the Government of Vietnam stems from our mutual goal of bettering the health of people in Vietnam.”

The delegation plans to meet with the Ministry of Health, the National Assembly Committee on Social Issues, Vietnam Social Security, and Vinmec International Hospital. The mission will also include the 3rd Joint Working Group Meeting with the Ministry of Health (MOH) as part of the Council’s Memorandum of Understanding with MOH and a panel discussion with local associations and stakeholders on developments in the healthcare industry in Vietnam.

Companies participating in the Health & Life Sciences Industry Mission include 3M, Abbott, Amway, Baxter, BD, Boston Scientific, GE Healthcare, Gilead Sciences, GSK, Jhpiego, Johnson & Johnson, MSD and Pfizer.

Companies participating in the Vietnam Business Mission include 3M, Access Partnership, AES, Amazon, Amway, Apple, Archer Daniels Midland, Bay Global Strategies, Coca-Cola, Dow, Expedia, ExxonMobil, Facebook, Ford, General Electric, General Motors, GSK, Herbalife Nutrition, IBM, Jhpiego, MasterCard, MSD Animal Health, Microsoft, Nielsen, Paypal, Philip Morris, Procter & Gamble, Qualcomm, Suntory PepsiCo, Time Warner, UL, UPS and Visa.

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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.