US giants eye chances in big Vietnam projects

Nhu Ngoc | vir.com.vn | Nov 19, 2012 14:44 pm

Huge investment demand  in Vietnam’s infrastructure sector is attracting attention of US  companies which have experience and strong financial ability.

Top executives of these companies last week came to Vietnam in the company of the US’ Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade at the Department of Commerce Francisco J. Sánchez to explore investment opportunities in infrastructure sector. Those companies include Black and Veatch, Honeywell, Shaw Group Inc, Westinghouse, Worley Parsons, Oshkosh, General Electric and Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Sánchez said the relationship between Vietnam and the US had turned into a new page, especially in term of economic cooperation.

“The presence of companies in Vietnam with me underlines this important cooperation,” he said, adding that US companies want to play a role to help Vietnam develop infrastructure system in particular and the economy in general.

“We come Vietnam to find out that how we can participate in infrastructure projects in this country,” Sánchez said.

Among the companies following Sánchez to Vietnam, Westinghouse is interested in Vietnam’s first nuclear power project, which will be built in central Ninh Thuan province. Gary T. Urquhart, vice president of Westinghouse, said the US firm wanted to find out the financial arrangement for the nuclear power plants in Ninh Thuan.

Other companies like General Electric, Black and Veatch and Honeywell have already presented in Vietnam, but Sánchez said they planned to further expand investment in Vietnam because of the country’s huge investment demand in infrastructure.

Today, US is the largest export market for Vietnam-located companies with total export turnover in 2011 was $16.7 billion. In the first half this year, Vietnam’s export turnover to the US was $9.3 billion, up 19.8 per cent year-on-year, according to General Statistics Office.

In term of investment, the US is now the 8th largest foreign investing country in Vietnam, with 633 projects capitalised at $10.4 billion. Many US’ multinational companies have established business in Vietnam including Coca-Cola, Cargill, Crown, Kimberly-Clark, Pepsico and P&G.

“We always welcome US’ companies to invest in Vietnam, especially in infrastructure system where we need much money for investment,” Bui Quang Vinh, Minister of Planning and Investment, said in a meeting with Sánchez and US companies in Hanoi last week.

Vinh introduced US companies to a series of infrastructure projects including North-South expressway, Long Thanh international airport, and the country’s key seaport and railway projects.



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