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Prime Minister invites US investment in digital transformation

Meeting with US financial corporations, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said Vietnam is dealing with problems to make the capital market develop in a safe, transparent, effective and sustainable way.
PM Pham Minh Chinh receivesJoseph Bae, CEO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts

On May 16, local time, continuing his working visit to the US, Chinh received Joseph Bae, CEO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), Alfred Kelly, Chair and CEO of Visa Inc, and some CEOs of US financial corporations.

At the meetings, the Prime Minister asked business leaders to share experiences and make suggestions to Vietnam, so that the country can attract more investment and use capital effectively.

Investment in public sector

Joseph Bae of KKR said the investment fund wants to expand in the fields of real estate, infrastructure, digital transformation, food, consumer goods and technology in Vietnam.

He said Vietnam is an attractive market for investors with favorable policies for investors, an important geographical position, and a young and dynamic population. Vietnam is also a destination for many global and regional value-added services.

The Prime Minister thanked KKR for its comments about Vietnam, praised KKR’s investments in the private sector and lauded its business expansion plan in the public sector in Vietnam.

According to Chinh, KKR’s investments are also Vietnam’s priorities, including startups. In 2021, Vietnam attracted $1.3 billion in capital for startups, the highest ever level, despite the pandemic.

Chinh asked KKR to share experiences about the measures to promote investment in energy infrastructure, digital transformation and healthcare infrastructure.

Bae said that the development of these fields requires strong private-public partnerships, a transparent legal framework to make investors feel secure, and improvement of capital market effectiveness and project management capability. 

The comprehensive cooperation relationship between Vietnam and the US will also create favorable conditions for investment activities.

The Prime Minister asked for KKR’s support in policy consultancy, technical issues and human resource development. After the meeting, a number of ministries and branches will arrange a working schedule with KKR to discuss cooperation issues.  

Non-cash payments

The Prime Minister also received Alfred Kelly, Chair and CEO of Visa, and CEOs of US financial corporations, including Citigroup and Standard & Poor.

Kelly noted the dynamic development of Vietnam and congratulated the country on hosting SEA Games.

VISA praised the non-cash payment development in Vietnam with growth rates of 8 percent in 2020 and 28 percent this year.

VISA wants to continue to work closely with the Government to support growth and innovation in the financial sector. At the same time, the corporation also wants to expand access to cashless payments; share business investment plans in the near future; and discuss opportunities for Visa to continue supporting digital transformation, including supporting small businesses, and building smart cities and smart mobility in Vietnam.

The Prime Minister said he hoped the corporation would continue expanding its investments, research and development of new products, enhance cooperation with commercial banks and engage more actively in the restructuring, digital transformation and financial system development in Vietnam.

Lauding VISA’s cooperation plan with the Vietnamese Government in renovating the financial sector and expanding access to cashless payments, Chinh said Vietnam has approved a non-cash payment development project for the 2021-2025 period

He asked VISA to work with the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to support the approved activities and tasks, and reach targets set in the project earlier than scheduled.

This is in line with Vietnam’s digital transformation program, and will contribute to fighting embezzlement and tax losses and create favorable conditions for people, businesses and travelers.

Also, at the meeting, the Prime Minister said Vietnam is handling violations to ensure that the capital market can develop in a safe, transparent, effective and sustainable way. He asked Standard & Poor to give support in rating Vietnam’s enterprises.

The Prime Minister also discussed with Citigroup the possibility of promoting cooperation in non-cash payments, capital market development, climate change response, and energy conversion.

On the same day, Prime Minister Chinh talked over the phone with Antoinette Monsio Sayeh, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He praised the IMF’s support to Vietnam’s socio-economic development, especially support in building policies. Thanks to effective control of the pandemic, Vietnam gained initial achievements in socio-economic recovery after the pandemic.

Vietnam is implementing a socio-economic recovery and development program with a support package worth 4 percent of GDP. Chinh asked IMF to support Vietnam to implement the program effectively.

Thu Hang (from New York)

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