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November 4, 2007

US commerce secretary to lead business mission to Vietnam next week

U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez will lead a delegation of business leaders to Vietnam next week to enhance ties between the United States and Southeast Asia's fastest-growing economy.

Gutierrez arrives in Hanoi Sunday night and is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and President Nguyen Minh Triet during his three-day visit. He will also meet with U.S. and Vietnamese business leaders in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

"This visit represents yet another milestone in the growing economic relationship between the United States and Vietnam," said Angela Aggeler, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi.

Vietnam's economy is growing more than 8 percent a year and attracting interest from companies around the world. Foreign investment exceeded US$10 billion last year and is expected to reach US$13 billion this year. Gutierrez will be accompanied by executives from 23 U.S. companies, including 3M Co., Ford Motor Co., Dow Chemical Co. and Northwest Airlines Corp.

Vietnam became the newest member of the World Trade Organization earlier this year, heightening the interest of investors already drawn to the country because of low wages and a youthful market of 84 million people.

Courtesy IHT 

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