Clinton’s Asia Tour Provides Boost to Vietnam-U.S. Trade, Relations

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Jul. 13 – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced in Cambodia on Friday that the United States will provide five Southeast Asian countries with US$50 million over three years to help out in areas such as healthcare, education, and the environment.

Recipients of the aid will be:

  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Myanmar
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Prior to this announcement, Clinton was in Vietnam earlier in the week for her third visit in three years to promote U.S. investment into the country. At a meeting with the Vietnam-U.S. Business Community in Hanoi on Tuesday, she said that the United States has seen an increasing number of U.S. groups operating efficiently in the country.

Clinton also noted that the Obama Administration is looking for ways to expand trade and investment with the country, which was up 17 percent between 2010 and 2011 to nearly US$22 billion. She added that the United States has chosen Vietnam as one of the top five emerging markets to fulfill its target for doubling export value by 2015.

To exemplify U.S. interest in Vietnam, American multinational conglomerate General Electric signed two deals with Vietnamese companies during Clinton’s visit worth a combined US$86 million.

General Electric will supply a steam turbine generator to Cong Thanh for the Vietnamese company’s 660-megawatt thermal power plant in Thanh Hoa Province. This project includes US$36 million in U.S. export content, according to the U.S. State Department.

The General Electric deal involves cooperation with the Vietnamese National Power Transmission Corporation to supply transmission capacitors in a project worth US$50 million.

“These deals also translate into more jobs for workers at GE’s steam turbine plant in Schenectady, New York, and other sites around the country,” she said. “More American businesses competing here benefits Vietnam and benefits the United States.”

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