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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                    20  September 2011

US-Vietnam trade rises

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The US is taking steps to increase bilateral trade with Vietnam by adding 14 economic specialists to the US embassy and Consulate in the country, according to the assistant secretary for the US Commerce for Trade Promotion, Suresh Kumar.

Speaking at a media briefing in HCM City yesterday, Suresh Kumar told Vietnamese businesses to take advantage of their consultation to learn more about the US's import requirements.

He noted that after a bilateral trade agreement between the two countries was signed in 2001, bilateral trade reached US$2 billion.

But it rose to $18.6 billion in 2010, a growth of 20 per cent compared to 2009.

"Vietnam's imports from the US grew at even a higher rate, but we can both do much more than that," said Kumar.

Kumar, who is also director general of the US and Foreign Commercial Service, said the American trade sector was carrying out a national trade initiative under the Obama administration that would increase US exports to several countries.

Under that initiative, Viet Nam has been identified as a priority country for trade with the US. "US investment in Vietnam is around $4.7 billion, and more than 500 American companies are present in Vietnam," he said.

In December, Kumar will lead a business delegation to Viet Nam to seek investment opportunities in franchising, finance, green energy, infrastructure and healthcare.



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This year in Thailand-what next?

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By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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