Diplomats and business executives worldwide are scrambling to strengthen strategic partnerships with an eager Vietnam. But one country seems less active than others as the competition heats up to win over the promising frontier market and capitalize on its young, educated, and entrepreneurial workforce: the USA.
Examples this month of how other countries are cooperating with Vietnam:
- Indonesia is hosting the Vietnam Festival in Jakarta this weekend, underscoring a transformative year that brought the first direct flights between Saigon and Jakarta, a bilateral meeting in Hanoi to cement a strategic partnership, a $5 billion bilateral trade target for 2015 (which has nearly been achieved already), and corporate partnerships such as the sale of the majority of Vietnam’s biggest cement company to Indonesia’s counterpart and Indonesia Ciputra Group’s $2 billion new city in Hanoi.
- Uruguay has been cleared to export beef and lamb to Vietnam from 12 processing plants after the country recognized the high demand for meat in Vietnam; last year Uruguay exported nearly $1.6 billion of meat — but just $2 million to Vietnam — and that’s going to change.
- Europe is lifting a year-old ban on the import of Vietnamese basil, sweet pepper, celery, bitter gourd and coriander as Vietnam expands its growing role as a global food supplier.
- Russia and Belarus hosted Vietnam’s Prime Minister Dung to promote strategic partnerships, especially trade and scientific/technological cooperation. Two-way trade with Russia was $2.5 billion last year and with Belarus is expected to reach $1 billion by 2015. Russia has 93 projects in Vietnam valued at $2 billion.
- Italy hosted a Vietnamese delegation to celebrate the opening of a trade office in Tuscany, the latest in a bilateral 40-year diplomatic and trade relationship.
Every month, Vietnam continues to expand and refine its global network. Nations and corporations that want to position themselves for the Southeast Asia market need to get and stay connected with Vietnam.