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This is the comment of the Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Nguyen Quoc Dung when he was interviewed by a VNA reporter in Washington about economic diplomacy activities in recent times to promote two-way economic and trade activities between Vietnam and the US.
According to Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Dung, the fields that US businesses want to invest in and cooperate with Vietnam are the high technology sector (telecommunications, digitalization, electronics, automation, biology...), the energy sector (petroleum, renewable energy...), agriculture, healthcare/pharmaceutical, finance, aviation, tourism, etc. Notably, Vietnamese enterprises increasingly want to expand investment and do business in the US market (which is unprecedented).
Besides, Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Dung also mentioned existing difficulties and challenges for economic diplomacy activities. The US is currently Vietnam's largest export market and is expected to exceed the export value of $110 billion in 2021, but Vietnam is yet to have an effective framework for managing trade relations with the US. As the result, Vietnam is often the subject of trade remedy investigations. Some US policies, such as the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, or the carbon adjustment mechanism at the border that is being built, will have a complicated effect on Vietnam's export businesses.
Talking to the Embassy, many US businesses believe that Vietnam has reached the maturity of a labor-intensive economy. If there are no strong innovations in the investment environment, completion of legal documents in terms of investment and related fields, cyber management, infrastructure, logistics, and labor resources, Vietnam will be unlikely to receive many new investment flows. Meanwhile, Vietnam also has to compete strongly with many countries in the region that are looking to catch new investment trends. On the side of Vietnamese enterprises, when investing in the US market, they also face many difficulties in terms of market, legal, and network.
To take advantage of economic cooperation opportunities with the US, the Embassy has a number of recommendations.
First, Vietnam needs to continue to maintain high-level relations with the US to boost the relationship's momentum. Vietnam needs to form key products for export to the US market and at the same time create more favorable conditions for US goods imported into Vietnam so as not to create excuses for the US to hinder Vietnam's exports. Vietnam needs to soon sign the Agreement on Avoiding Double Taxation and adopt the General Principles of Accounting to facilitate US investment in Vietnam. Making good use of the US support in implementing the commitments at the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) is also recommended, so does maintain dialogue and interest in proposals from US businesses, such as piloting direct electricity purchase and sale, and having an appropriate understanding of business capacity in the Public-Private Investment law; or as concerns of businesses about Decree 53 on digital economy management.
Second, continue to actively participate in discussions on the pillars of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). Vietnam's participation is highly appreciated by the US government and business partners; that Vietnam is willing to join the big playgrounds and strictly implement international trade rules. Actively participating in IPEF discussions will also help Vietnam develop the rules of the game of international trade in line with Vietnam's interests.
Third, Vietnamese businesses and localities should understand more deeply about the strict requirements of the US market; take measures to promote products in English to suit tastes; take advantage of the support of the Vietnamese community as well as actively hire consultants, a form popular in the US, to have an appropriate market domination strategy. Cooperate with US government trade remedy investigations; resolutely avoid origin fraud, the unknown origin of goods, or willful violation of US sanctions.
Over the past time, the Embassy and Trade Agency in the US have implemented all three major work areas above. The Embassy has maintained and developed relationships and networks of friends with the US government, Congress, and the US business community. They regularly report on the US economic situation, and new policies that have an impact on Vietnam such as the law to reduce inflation, and the law on the development of the semiconductor industry (recently passed by the US Congress). Meeting, fighting, explaining, and lobbying with relevant organizations to get objective conclusions and protect Vietnam's interests in US investigations related to monetary policy and origin, dumping prices on Vietnam's export products such as wood, steel, pangasius, and honey.
The Embassy also directly does or supports domestic delegations (leaders of the government, ministries, sectors, localities, businesses) to organize business forums, investment, trade promotion activities, etc.
According to Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Dung, economic diplomacy activities at this time have some basic advantages. That is the concern of the leaders of the two countries, the interest of the localities, the businesses of the two countries, the potential and position of Vietnam, and the FTAs that Vietnam participates in. Now, Vietnam has favorable opportunities to attract foreign investment. However, there are still some difficulties in terms of mechanisms and laws of the two countries with many different regulations, and Vietnamese enterprises' understanding of US regulations and laws is still limited. The US is Vietnam's No. 1 export market, Vietnam has a large trade surplus with the US, so the US regularly conducts trade remedy investigations for Vietnamese goods. Despite progress, infrastructure, logistics, and skilled human resources in Vietnam are still limited compared to the needs and investment potential of American businesses in Vietnam, especially in the face of fierce competition regionally and globally.
Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Dung said that in the coming time, it is necessary to promote the exchange of delegations at all levels and business exchanges between the two countries. Invest more in research, forecasting, and warning because the current economic situation in the US and the world is facing complicated fluctuations that affect Vietnam. The country needs more information for Vietnamese localities and businesses about the regulations, standards, and tastes of the US market. The Embassy will continue to support solving problems and difficulties of Vietnamese businesses doing business in the US, strive to form a stable trade cooperation mechanism, reduce investigations, and take countermeasures. US commerce.
Finally, Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Dung said that there is a need for stronger investment, synchronism, consistency, and drastic in policies and measures to implement economic diplomacy, and a holistic approach to economic development. When necessary, it is possible to exchange small losses for larger and longer-term gains.
Source: Cong Thuong News