U.S. Sign US$500 Million Deal to Boost Infrastructure in Vietnam

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Jun. 16 – Vietnam and the United States inked a deal on Monday for U.S. financing worth US$500 million to help boost American exports for high-priority infrastructure projects in the Southeast Asian country.

U.S. Ambassador Michael Michalak said that the deal with the Export-Import Bank of the United States will “begin a new economic era” in ties between the two countries which mark 15 years of normalized relations in 2010.

The deal is seen as a boost for Vietnam’s infrastructure, which many foreign businessmen in the country have frequently expressed concern over as a lack of seaports, roads, and reliable electricity has hampered investments.

According to Thanh Nein Daily, visiting Ex-Im Bank chairman and president Fred Hochberg expressed a readiness to help finance development in key sectors including communications, highway and rail projects, renewable energy and other types of power.

Hochberg said the bank would fund the purchase of U.S. goods and services by the Vietnamese government and private companies.

The Export-Import Bank provides loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and direct loans primarily to emerging markets, to finance the sale of U.S. exports. It has a current exposure of US$231 million in Vietnam.

Vietnam needs an estimated US$70-80 billion in infrastructure investment over the next five to 10 years.