In support of the goal of President Donald J. Trump to increase American commercial activity across nations in the Indo-Pacific region, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross led a business delegation including of 16 companies to Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam from November 3 to November 8. This mission spawned new partnerships as well as several business agreements, potentially representing billions in investments.
“The Trump Administration is building new relationships across the Indo-Pacific, creating a bright future, not only for the United States, but for countries across the region,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Last year, trade between Indo-Pacific nations and United States increased to a record of nearly $2 trillion – tying our great countries ever-closer together.”
In Vietnam, Secretary Ross and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc witnessed the signing of five major business agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) that will further deepen the U.S.-Vietnam trade partnership:
- AES signed an MOU with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to solidify cooperation on the Son My 2 Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Power Plant. The Government of Vietnam approved the project in September 2019, representing an investment of $1.7 billion. Together with the $1.4 billion Son My LNG import terminal, the plant represents a total investment of almost $3.1 billion.
- Varian Medical Systems signed an MOU with the National Institute of Medical Equipment & Construction for strategic cooperation on the maintenance and calibration of existing and future Varian Linear Accelerators. To further the delivery of effective cancer treatment in Vietnam, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency committed up to $1 million to support a critical training program for healthcare professionals connected to the expansion of oncology services.
- Vietnam Airlines signed two deals during the ceremony. The first was a multi-year engine service agreement with Pratt & Whitney valued at approximately $1 billion. In addition, Vietnam Airlines signed a multi-million-dollar agreement with the technology company Sabre, adopting solutions that will strengthen their forecasting and inventory control capabilities.
- Murphy Oil signed the Block 15-2/17 production sharing contract with Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), PVEP, and SK Innovation.
Also, while in Hanoi, Secretary Ross and business delegates met with Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, the American Chamber of Commerce, as well as other public and private sector stakeholders to discuss U.S.-Vietnam trade and investment cooperation.
During the stop in Jakarta, Secretary Ross and the delegation attended an event with AmCham Indonesia, which drew a full-house of companies and private industry stakeholders. The Secretary also held bilateral talks with President Joko Widodo and key cabinet officials including Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto and Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan.
While in Bangkok, the business delegation met with Thai Government officials, 14 U.S. Chiefs of Mission in Asia, as well as potential partners from Thailand and the region. As the Secretary’s mission took place during the Second Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF), the business delegation had an additional opportunity to network with over 1,000 business and government leaders from across Asia and the United States. The Secretary gave an address at the IPBF, while also speaking to U.S. Chamber/U.S. ASEAN Business Council and to AmCham Executive Directors from all over Asia.