Posts Tagged ‘Vietnam’


AES: Reaching Business Opportunities in Vietnam

August 29, 2018

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This is the second entry in a series of guest blogs highlighting ITA activities that help connect U.S. companies to opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region following the recent Indo-Pacific Business Forum where Secretary Ross, Secretary Pompeo and other cabinet officials spoke about the Administration’s commitment to the region.

Click here to read the first entry of our Indo-Pacific blog series.

Guest Blog Q & A with David Stone, President – Vietnam, AES, on ITA’s Vietnam Energy Working Group

 ITA: Tell us about your business and what makes your product/service unique?

Stone: AES is the first independent power producer to reach successful financial closure in Vietnam since 2003, with a total financing of approximately $1.46 billion. The company has been investing in Vietnam since 2010 and successfully developed, built, and currently operates the 1,240 MW Mong Duong 2 BOT Power Project in Quang Ninh province. The project was completed with an award-winning safety record, on budget, and ahead of schedule. The plant is expected to generate up to 7.6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually.

AES is looking at other business opportunities in Vietnam including renewable energy and natural gas power generation. AES signed an MOU on November 12, 2017, in the presence of Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang and United States President Donald Trump. This MOU is a critical milestone, expressing the commitment of both PetroVietnam Gas Joint Stock Corporation (PV Gas) and AES to jointly develop the Son My LNG Terminal Project, with a partnership structure of 51 percent and 49 percent for PV Gas and AES respectively. This marks another milestone in the historic partnership and strong collaboration towards mutual economic development between Vietnam and the United States.

In addition to Son My LNG Terminal Project, AES has also expressed interest in investing in the Son My 2 CCGT Project, which will not only create jobs in Vietnam and in the United States through exports of equipment to Vietnam,but could substantially contribute to the bilateral trade and investment relationship between the two countries. The Son My LNG Terminal Project and Son My 2 CCGT Project may pave the way to increased long-lasting economic ties that would benefit both countries, and further increase the visibility of Vietnam in the US and vice versa.

ITA: How do you see Asia affecting your business in the future?

Stone: AES’s mission is improving lives by accelerating a safer and greener energy future. We strongly believe that Asia should be part of the transition to CO2 free energy production and we work in this direction committing to different projects in the region that will bring it to a new level of energy production and consumption.

ITA: What was uniquely useful about the Vietnam Energy Industry Group?

Stone: In the rapidly changing global environment the dialogue and exchange of ideas is the engine that drives the economies further. That is why we are happy that the newly-formed US-Vietnam Energy Industry Group has been able to create an energy forum and that facilitates dialogue to help business communities have the chance to discuss ideas with the local and national authorities of Vietnam, generating plans for economic development of the country.

ITA: Why do you work with ITA? And/or How has ITA already helped you in Asia?

Stone: ITA is a valuable partner that helps us to strengthen the dialogue between the business and the authorities in different country. The fruitful dialogue with our key stakeholders is essential for the development of our ideas reflecting the needs of the local societies. In Vietnam we work with the Embassy and Department of Commerce to provide to the Government of Vietnam messages to reinforce AES commitments as well as request for a thorough consideration from the Government to ensure a fair business.

ITA is proud to connect U.S. companies to opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region. If you are interested in how ITA can help you access Asian markets, contact your local International Trade Specialist


Understanding Business Opportunities in Vietnam

June 3, 2014

Peggy Keshishian is the Acting Senior Commercial Officer in the International Trade Administration’s Foreign Commercial Service Team in Vietnam.

Secretary Pritzker met with leaders from the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam.

Secretary Pritzker met with leaders from the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam.

It was an honor to host Commerce Secretary Pritzker here in Vietnam. She and the visiting delegation of U.S. CEOs and the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council are absolutely right to prioritize the Vietnam market and their visit to the country will do nothing but help solidify a promising commercial relationship.

Here’s what I know about Vietnam: Despite some potential pitfalls, it is a hotbed of opportunity for U.S. businesses.

There are two important reasons Vietnam is a promising market:

  1. The country is modernizing, meaning there are numerous needs for infrastructure development. Improvements of transportation systems — including subways, highways, and airports — not only mean opportunities for U.S. firms, but also an improved business environment in the country.
  2. The population is also young; 70 percent of Vietnamese citizens are under 40 years old. That means there is tremendous opportunity for developing brand loyalty among consumers. Vietnamese citizens recognize the quality of U.S. products, and incomes in the country are rising. That helps create a promising environment for U.S. goods and services.

That said, it’s important to recognize there are some risks in the Vietnamese market.

Much of the money being injected into the economy comes from foreign sources, and is often provided by nations that expect their companies to receive a leg-up when it comes to competing for state contracts. You need to aware of how projects are financed so that you don’t end up spinning your wheels competing for a contract your business is unlikely to win.

This is something Secretary Pritzker addressed in several meetings with Vietnamese leaders, and I believe the country is taking important steps to increase transparency and fairness.

Our Foreign Commercial Service team works hard to make sure any American company looking to enter this market knows how to succeed. We work with our Commercial Service colleagues in the United States to support U.S. businesses with services like market research, finding the most qualified local partners, and discovering the best opportunities available.

We’ll remain here on the ground, continuing to support U.S. businesses and building off the success of the Secretary’s visit.

If you’re interested in opportunities in Vietnam – or in any other market – you should contact your nearest Export Assistance Center to get started.


ITA Leads Largest Ever Civil Nuclear Trade Policy Mission to Vietnam and China

June 13, 2013

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Under Secretary of International Trade Francisco Sánchez and U.S. delegation members meet with Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology Nguyễn Quân and others in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Under Secretary of International Trade Francisco Sánchez and U.S. delegation members meet with Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology
Nguyễn Quân in Hanoi, Vietnam.

This May, I was able to lead the largest ever U.S. Civil Nuclear Energy Trade Policy Mission to Hanoi, Vietnam, and Beijing and Ningbo, China. This mission enabled us to address important policy issues and highlight how U.S. civil nuclear technologies and services can help Vietnam and China meet their civil nuclear energy goals.

The U.S. government delegation included representatives from the White House, Department of Energy, U.S. Export-Import Bank, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and of course the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. The industry delegation included 11 American companies in Vietnam and 15 in China.

Vietnam and China offer abundant opportunities to U.S. civil nuclear companies:

  • Vietnam is steadily developing its nuclear power program and its civil nuclear market is estimated to be worth $10 billion and expected to grow to $50 billion by 2030;
  • China is the world’s fastest growing civil nuclear market. 29 of the 65 reactors under construction globally are in China and the country’s nuclear industry is expected to grow to nearly $300 billion by 2020.

In Vietnam, our delegation met with government officials and also participated in a Best Practices workshop attended by 50 representatives from Vietnamese ministries, state-owned utilities, and regulatory agencies. Delegates shared their expertise on a variety of topics including safety improvements post-Fukushima, and how nuclear regulators and industry can cooperate to enhance nuclear safety.

In China, we met with eight ministries and companies to discuss policy issues such as liability, local content, and intellectual property rights. The mission concluded with a visit to China’s Sanmen nuclear power plant site, where the world’s first AP1000 reactor – designed by U.S. company Westinghouse – is being built.

Our trade mission also lined-up with other important events recognizing the value of our economic relationship with Asia.

This week, the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council is holding a series of meetings with U.S. businesses. I was also able to speak about the importance of Asia at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s Think Asia Think Hong Kong symposium in New York.

I am proud to contribute to our important trade relationship, and to have led such a distinguished delegation to these key civil nuclear export markets. This is another example of our efforts to help U.S. exporters find new opportunities to sell their goods and services and support American jobs.


Commerce-Supported Student Recruitment Group Opens Office in Vietnam

May 8, 2013

John Siegmund is an International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Services.

The VETEC team talked about its mission at the Association of International Educators.

The VETEC team talked about its mission at the Association of International Educators conference.

United States colleges and universities are one step closer to garnering a bigger share of the education market for Vietnamese students with the official recognition of the Vietnamese Education Training and Export Center (VETEC).

The initiative is part of a Market Development Cooperator Program award (MDCP) between the International Trade Administration (ITA) and the California Education and Training Export Center.

VETEC offers a broad variety of services to Vietnamese students and U.S. colleges and universities, all with the goal of increasing the number of Vietnamese studying in the United States. VETEC operates an office in Vietnam, which ITA supported with an MDCP award of $388,000 in 2011.

“Vietnam has been among the fastest growing source countries for overseas study in the United States during the past four years,” says VETEC Director Mark Matsumoto. “It has the potential to become one of the three most significant export markets in the world for U.S. education and training service exports within the next 10 years.”

VETEC is ideally located to help both U.S. institutions of higher learning and Vietnamese students. The office will open up new and effective ways to promote the benefits offered by U.S. colleges and universities to Vietnamese students and their families.

“VETEC was designed to provide U.S. schools an on-the-ground resource in Vietnam to actively engage students and parents in Vietnam,” added Matsumoto.

Education comprises a large portion of American exports in the service industry. In 2012, education accounted for nearly $23 billion in U.S. exports.

In 2011-2012, more than 15,000 students from Vietnam enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities, making the United States the eighth-largest host market for Vietnamese students. Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) reported that as of December 2012, 106,000 Vietnamese students were studying abroad.

VETEC will offer the following services:

  • Year-round promotion of U.S. educational opportunities in Vietnam
  • High-impact advertising campaigns and promotions
  • On-site student advising and counseling
  • Facilitation of institutional contacts and exchange
  • Translation and interpretation support
  • Coordination of in-country logistics and meeting schedules
  • Other services as needs arise

For more information go to and


An Infrastructure Trade Mission to Two Developing Markets

December 4, 2012

Adam S. Wilczewski serves as the Chief of Staff of the International Trade Administration.

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez (L) speaks on a panel in Hanoi, Vietnam on November 14, 2012 with (L-R) Ambassador David B, Shear, Leocadia Zak of the U.S. Trade Development Agency and John Moran from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez (L) speaks on a panel in Hanoi, Vietnam on November 14, 2012 with (L-R) Ambassador David B, Shear, Leocadia Zak of the U.S. Trade Development Agency and John Moran from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Asia is home to many of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Countries like China and India readily come to mind. The impressive development of other Asian nations, however, should not be overlooked.

Two countries that have made big economic strides in recent years are Indonesia and Vietnam. They are among the fastest growing countries in the region, with growth rates of 6.5 and 5.9 percent, respectively, in 2011.

Both are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the bloc of 10 states that forms the United States’ fourth-largest trading partner, making Indonesia and Vietnam important to the U.S economy.

For this reason, the U.S. government is committed to further improving trade relations with both of them.  Under Secretary for International Trade, Francisco Sánchez, recently led an Infrastructure Trade Mission there, underscoring these countries importance.  This trip marked Sánchez’s third visit to Vietnam in 20 months.  Our U.S. Government partners at the U.S. Trade Development Agency and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) joined the ITA on this trip for a true whole-of-government effort.

Eight U.S. infrastructure companies – Black and Veatch, Cisco Systems, General Electric Company, Honeywell International, Inc., Oshkosh Corporation, The Shaw Group, Westinghouse Electric Company, and WorleyParsons, LLC – took the opportunity to explore these two foreign markets. Both countries have pressing infrastructure needs due to their high growth rate, offering exciting prospects for U.S companies in that field.

While in Jakarta, Indonesia – our first stop – the delegation met with public and private sector leaders to discuss opportunities that would be mutually beneficial to both of our economies.

Here, OPIC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indonesian Infrastructure Guarantee Fund (IIGF). The organizations pledged to work more closely together to promote private sector infrastructure investment in the world’s fourth most populous country.  A supportive Under Secretary Sánchez stated that “increased investment in infrastructure supported by OPIC will help to accelerate Indonesia’s already-rapid economic growth.”

In Vietnam, the participants met with numerous government officials and representatives from the private sector. Highlights on the agenda included an encounter with the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and an American Chamber of Commerce hosted lunch in Hanoi.

Most discussions during the trade mission focused on the potential for collaboration on infrastructure projects in areas such as energy, aviation, environmental technology, architecture, construction and engineering.

This Infrastructure Trade Mission is another example of how the U.S. government is working to meet the National Export Initiative’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

Southeast Asia is an export market with great potential for U.S. businesses. This growing economic and political importance was underscored by the fact that President Obama chose to visit the region in November directly following his reelection.

Together, working in partnership with the U.S. business community, the International Trade Administration and the entire U.S. Government hope to continue to make progress in meeting infrastructure needs abroad in order to support good-paying jobs here at home.


Hundreds of U.S. Companies Find Opportunities during Trade Winds-Asia

June 5, 2012

Bill Burwell has been with the U.S. Department of Commerce for 14 years and currently serves as the Director of the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

Southeast Asia hosted its first Trade Winds event during May, World Trade Month. Organized by the International Trade Administration’s Commercial Service, more than 100 American companies participated in the trade mission. The events were hosted in Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia May 14-22.

Now in it’s fifth year, Trade Winds is an eight-day trade and business development conference, held in Asia for the first time. Those who attend Trade Winds find opportunities for business connections in key geographic regions. It is like a giant trade mission helping buyers and sellers make connections and sales.

The Trade Winds program, organized by the Mid-Atlantic region of the Commercial Service domestic network, has thus far resulted in more than $100 million worth of exports for participating U.S. companies.

The morning of the first day saw U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney officially commence the mission with a ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand where the U.S. Commercial Service had arranged more than 50 business-to-business appointments for the visiting companies.

Meanwhile, 20 additional U.S. companies spent two days exploring business development efforts in Vietnam, where the U.S. Commercial Service in Ho Chi Minh City had arranged well over 80 business to business appointments for the visiting U.S. companies.

As the mission progressed, U.S. Ambassador to Singapore David Adelman welcomed the entire Trade Winds delegation of more than 200 business representatives from 100 companies to Singapore.  These companies spent the next two days participating in a Southeast Asia regional business forum, a forum that included more than 540 one-on-one consultations with Commercial Service Senior Commercial Officers representing 14 markets across the Asia-Pacific region. An additional 216 business-to-business appointments were arranged by the Commercial Service in Singapore for the American business representatives.

By May 21 and 22, Trade Winds – Asia had turned its focus to Malaysia and Indonesia. In Jakarta, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission, Ted Osius welcomed a delegation of 17 U.S. companies while U.S. Ambassador Paul Jones similarly welcomed 10 U.S. companies to Malaysia. As with previous delegations, the U.S. Commercial Service offices in Jakarta and Kuala Lampur arranged 89 and 67 business to business appointments respectively for the visiting U.S. companies.

During the entirety of the Trade Winds – Asia conference, the U.S. Commercial Service arranged more than 500 business-to-business meetings between U.S. companies and commercial representatives in Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia. In addition, Commercial Service Senior Commercial Officers engaged in over 540 one on one meetings with U.S. business representatives and provided business development counseling on 14 Asia – Pacific markets.


Featured Trade Event: Trade Winds Asia

October 4, 2011

May 14–22, 2012
Trade Winds Asia
Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam

Three Buddha stone heads, Singapore. (© Hayden Bird/iStock)

Three Buddha stone heads, Singapore. (© Hayden Bird/iStock)

East Asia is one of the most lucrative regions in the world for U.S. exporters, with growing sales during the past several years. Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam together purchased more than $47.7 billion worth of U.S. merchandise in 2009 and more than $62.7 billion in 2010. Trade Winds Asia can help U.S. companies take advantage of those markets.

The central event of Trade Winds Asia will be a three-day business development conference on May 16–18, 2012, in Singapore. Before and after the conference, four separate trade missions will offer participating businesses the opportunity to visit Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, or Vietnam.

The conference location, Singapore, is home to a sophisticated and modern economy that offers excellent opportunities for U.S. firms interested in penetrating the Asian market. It offers free port status; a straightforward, English-speaking, U.S. style of doing business; strong intellectual property rights protection; and suffers from very little corruption. The country is a major trading hub. It imports and exports products from consumer goods to high-technology and industrial goods for reexport to third countries.

By participating in Trade Winds Asia, companies will benefit from a variety of events tailored to their needs, including prearranged consultations with up to 13 specialists of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service representing 14 countries, access to high-visibility business networking events with leading industry and government officials, and prearranged business meetings with representatives from firms throughout the region.

Previous Trade Winds that focused on Europe and the Americas have offered outstanding returns. One participant from last year’s Trade Winds event in Mexico said, “We had a chance to interact with local and global companies and shared experiences that cannot be learned in any other way [than] just by ‘doing it.’ The forum was a terrific channel to accelerate and enhance entering a region for us.”

The cost to participate in Trade Winds Asia ranges from $1,950 to $4,850 per company for one representative, depending on firm size and the number of mission stops. There is a $500 fee for each additional company participant in the Singapore event and $250 for each additional mission stop. Mission participants are responsible for travel, lodging, most meals, and incidentals. Applications must be received by March 30, 2012. For more information about the trade mission, visit its Web site or contact Shannon Christenbury of the USFCS, tel.: (704) 333-4886; e-mail:, or Judy Kornfeld of the USFCS, tel.: (703) 235-0331; e-mail:


Day 1 of the Education Trade Mission — Jakarta, Indonesia

April 2, 2011
Amanda Lawrence is an intern working with the U.S. Commercial Service to support the Education Mission to Indonesia and Vietnam.



Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez (left) meets with Suryadharma Ali, Indonesian State Minister of Cooperative and Small and Medium Enterprises (center) and U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel (right)

Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez (left) meets with Suryadharma Ali, Indonesian State Minister of Cooperative and Small and Medium Enterprises (center) and U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel (right). (Commerce Dept. photo taken April 3, 2011)

Today is the first day of the Education Mission to Vietnam and Indonesia. As of this morning, all 56 schools had arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia.  There is a clear excitement in the air about the upcoming events. To officially kick off the mission, the Putera Sampoerna Foundation hosted a welcome reception for all the participants at the Sampoerna Strategic Square. The Putera Sampoerna Foundation provides scholarship, training and support for future Indonesian leaders and is a key partner in for the Mission to Jakarta.


Leading the Way for Global Higher Education

March 31, 2011

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade

Today we depart for Jakarta, Indonesia for the first leg of the largest Commerce-led education trade mission ever. I am excited for this mission as we are bringing 56 colleges and universities to explore the opportunities to recruit international students to study in the U.S. as well as possibly setting up partnership and student and faculty exchanges.

I was excited to host my very first Twitter chat earlier today and I was happy to answer questions such as, how are foreign students studying in the U.S. an export and why were Vietnam and Indonesia targeted for this mission. To each, I answered that when foreign students come to study in the United States, their tuition and fees, as well as their living expenses help support the local economy in addition to the national economy. Education services ranks among the top 10 U.S. service exports, right between environmental services and safety and security. These two countries place a high value on higher education and have tremendous potential for sending students to the United States.  And, in Indonesia, boosting the number of Indonesian students studying in the United States is a top priority of the U.S. Embassy.

Building ties with international students not only helps our American students gain a greater level of international understanding—a critical skill for success in the 21st century global economy—but familiarizes future global leaders with the American people and U.S. society.


Vietnam’s Emerging Telecom Market Creates New Trade Opportunities

May 8, 2009

Senior International Trade Specialist Cora Dickson joined the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration in 2001. She helped to establish the U.S.-Vietnam Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Dialogue, an interagency initiative led by ITA.

Last month on my second visit to Vietnam, it was evident that U.S. companies are taking a keen interest in Vietnam’s telecom market. As an analyst I can tell you several objective reasons why Vietnam holds such potential, but seeing it firsthand makes me a believer.

A cellular phone store in Hanoi, Vietnam

A cellular phone store in Hanoi, Vietnam (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)

In the downtown streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, cell phones are becoming as ubiquitous as the scooters, bicycles, and rickshaws. You might even see farmers in straw hats carrying their goods the old-fashioned way, balanced on a pole over their shoulders, but they have cell phones too.

Some Vietnamese citizens even have more than one cell phone, confounding those who try to keep accurate statistics on mobile subscribers in Vietnam. Furthermore, a major upgrade is about to happen in Vietnam now that the government has issued several spectrum licenses for “third generation” (3G) digital wireless services. The manufacturers of handsets and other equipment have been salivating for years at the potential 3G opportunities as they watched Vietnam’s market take off.

Of course it’s not all about mobile. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are another growing business in Vietnam, and many of the ISPs are private enterprises formed within the past ten years. Most of the broadband services are concentrated in the two major urban areas but the government is actively promoting policies for build out to the rural provinces. Meanwhile, reliable telecom infrastructure is absolutely essential to attract more foreign investment and multinational corporations (MNCs) to Vietnam. Some U.S. telecom companies already serve the MNCs globally and they would like to add Vietnam branches to their networks.

While Vietnam’s telecom market is rapidly modernizing, the telecom regulatory framework still reflects the pre-WTO accession mindset. However, new rules are taking shape through draft legislation that will bring Vietnam’s laws in line with its WTO commitments. I’ve been hearing from U.S. companies who have been eagerly awaiting this legislation, which could really make it easier to do business in Vietnam. Thus, I worked with the Commercial Service post in Hanoi and Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to organize a half-day seminar on April 18th focusing on Vietnam’s draft telecom law.

The U.S. companies left the seminar with the impression that MIC had been willing to listen to their input and will continue to engage with the private sector as they refine the text of the bill, which is expected to be adopted by Vietnam’s National Assembly by the end of the year.

I left Hanoi feeling satisfied as a catalyst for a robust exchange of views between the U.S. companies and the Vietnamese government.