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U.S. on Track to Rank as Top Investor in Vietnam

Country registered $6 billion in foreign direct investment, with $3.86 from the U.S.

US-ASEAN Business Council said on May 13 that the U.S. is on track to become the leading foreign direct investor in Vietnam, more than 30 years after the end of the war.

"I'm willing to wager... that within no more than three years -- and perhaps a good deal less -- the United States will be the largest foreign direct investor in Vietnam," said Matthew Daley, president of the US-ASEAN Business Council.

He said that in the first quarter of this year, Vietnam registered about $6 billion in foreign direct investment, more than half of which, about $3.86 billion, came from American firms.

The Washington-based US-ASEAN Business Council represents more than 100 US companies. Representatives of 15 of them have joined Daley on a three-day mission that began on May 13 to explore opportunities in Vietnam.

Following the war which ended with Vietnam's reunification in 1975, the U.S. and Vietnam did not normalize diplomatic relations until 1995, followed by trade relations in 2001.

Daley says the U.S. is either the sixth or 10th ranking foreign investor in Vietnam, depending on which figures are used.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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