Production is booming in Vietnam. 50 American companies are interested: pharmaceuticals, arms manufacturers, and big tech. A business mission is on the way.
The US-ASEAN Business Council is organizing a business mission to Vietnam: 50 American companies are to take part. A spokesman for the US-ASEAN Business Council told Reuters. The organization represents the interests of American companies, for example, there are representatives of Meta, Amazon, and Netflix on the board. The aim of the organization is to establish business relationships with ASEAN, the association of Southeast Asian countries. This happens, for example, through business missions: the representatives of American companies meet heads of state and private companies in Vietnam to agree on new investments or sales.
The business mission is due to arrive in Hanoi this week. According to Reuters, the list of participants includes Amazon, Boeing, Meta, Netflix and SpaceX. Vu Tu Thanh, spokesman for Vietnam in the USEA-ASEAN Business Council, says: “This is the largest mission in Vietnam to date”. American arms manufacturers are also expected to participate. These had abstained for many years, which could be due to the fact that, according to analysts, there are many hurdles in the way of an arms sale with Vietnam, such as possible state embargoes due to human rights violations.
Mission goal: Investment and product sales
The companies want to meet Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Minh Chinh and other Vietnamese Communist Party leaders, according to the USEA-ASEAN Business Council. The sessions are designed to open up new opportunities for investing and selling products and services. SpaceX plans to sell satellite internet services, while Netflix wants to build several offices in Vietnam. Arms manufacturers Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Bell, on the other hand, are seeking talks with state-controlled companies for arms procurement, for example to sell helicopters, according to Thanh.
Ties with Vietnam aren’t new to many companies: late last year, Foxconn bought a $300 million factory to make future MacBooks in Vietnam — and avoid China. Because the trade war between the USA and China and its chip embargo make the search for an alternative inevitable – and factories in the deep northern part of Vietnam bordering China unmissable.
Manufacturing boom in Vietnam
Apple devices, Samsung smartphones, electronic circuit boards, game consoles, virtual reality headsets: industrial production in Vietnam is booming. Last year, Vietnam experienced growth in gross domestic product of 8.02 percent – and the middle class is growing with it. The CEO of Deep C, which runs an industrial park in Haiphong, told tech magazine Rest of World: “In the last five years alone, we’ve sold more than 50 percent of what we’ve sold in the previous twenty years.”
The one-party state promotes the manufacturing boom. Vietnam participates in numerous free trade agreements, is pursuing a plan to inject new capital into the country’s digital infrastructure by 2025, and is offering tax breaks to foreign companies. In the future, more and more electronic devices could be engraved with “Made in Vietnam”.