During a state visit by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, U.S. and Vietnamese firms signed several businesses deals on June 24 as the two countries pledged to boost trade ties. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and Dung presided over the signing of contracts and other agreements that the Commerce Department said represented "expanded access for U.S. companies to Vietnam's growing market."
A memorandum of cooperation was also signed between Vietrade, the Vietnam trade promotion agency, and the U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service.
The Commerce Department said the new business deals support jobs in the U.S. and further increase exports to Vietnam, which grew almost 73% in 2007 and more than 133% year in April from a year ago.
Signing contracts with their Vietnamese counterparts were Alcoa, Motorola Inc. and travel technology firm Sabre Holdings. Alcoa and Gannon had been among the 23 U.S. companies that accompanied Gutierrez's business development mission to Vietnam in November. Alcoa signed a cooperation agreement with Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Group on aluminum industry development. Motorola and Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group signed contracts worth $28 million for the expansion of a GSM mobile phone network across 12 northern provinces of Vietnam. Sabre Holdings and Vietnam Airlines Corporation signed a definitive memorandum of understanding for the purchase of an Internet-booking engine and e-commerce solution and a passenger services system.
Two U.S. companies received investment licenses for joint ventures: SSA Marine, for container terminals, and Gannon International, for a brewery and bottling facility.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008