Following is an excerpt from the interview:
After the investment promotion conference held in Japan last year, why has the Ministry of Finance targeted the US this time?
Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung.
Mr Dung: This year marks many important developments in Vietnam-US relations, as it has been 20 years since Vietnam and US normalised diplomatic relations and 15 years since we first signed a bilateral trade agreement. Our co-operation in economics, investments, finance and trade has developed, and bilateral foreign exchanges have grown tremendously in all fields, particularly in the finance sector.
After the state visit of Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang to the US in 2013, the two countries’ leaders agreed to upgrade the bilateral relations into a comprehensive partnership. This upcoming investment promotion conference, as such, is a testament to the development of the relations between the two countries on many counts, and at the same time, provides opportunities for Vietnamese and American business communities alike to interact and cooperate.
What will be your main message to US investors?
Mr Dung: The US is not only the biggest economy and the largest financial market in the world, but also the main hub that attracts and circulates global capital. Vietnam is seen as an emerging market capable to attract more foreign investment than other regional markets.The image of Vietnam in American investors’ mind, however, is unfortunately unclear at this stage. Through investment promotion in the US, we hope to showcase Vietnam’s efforts and successes in economic reforms and consistent policies that aim to develop the economy towards market mechanisms. We have always valued foreign investment inflows, especially from the US.
Our message at this conference, therefore, is to build a more comprehensive and deeper partnership between Vietnam and the US for mutual benefits in the finance sector and capital market.
Hundreds of US organisations have been injecting capital into Vietnam’s financial market via large investment funds. What favourable conditions are needed to attract larger American capital inflows into Vietnam?
Mr Dung: The Asia-Pacific region has continued to be the most dynamic development zone in the world, where intra-regional cooperation has grown closer than ever, especially with the upcoming finalisation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. In addition, the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership has been established and strengthened. These favourable factors have indeed helped attract investments from the US into Vietnam.
Moreover, Vietnam-US ties in economics, investment, finance and trade has been continuously fostered over the years. The US has always been among the top 10 foreign investors in Vietnam. Many large financial corporations from the US, such as JPMorgan, Chase, Citi Group, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley, are present in Vietnam.
Vietnam’s export volume to the US has increased 36 times since 2000, reaching almost US$29 billion in 2014, and we have become the ASEAN’s biggest exporter to the US market.
What is your expectation on the Vietnam-US economic ties in the coming time?
Mr Dung: Vietnam-US economic ties, strengthened in
the last two years on the basis of comprehensive partnership, will
certainly continue to thrive, both in quality and quantity.
Thank you very much.