During a historic state visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, President Joseph R. Biden and General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong elevated U.S.‐Vietnam relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, renewing the strength and dynamism of the U.S.‐Vietnam relationship as both countries work together to achieve our shared goals of peace, prosperity, and sustainable development.
The unprecedented and momentous elevation of ties between the two countries, moving from a Comprehensive Partnership established in 2013 to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, was the result of intense efforts by both governments to establish and build mutual understanding and to chart a forward-looking path toward the opportunities and challenges in a rapidly-evolving world.
To support our shared vision for broader bilateral cooperation, deeper institutional ties, and more extensive and innovative economic engagement, including in support of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), the United States, in partnership and collaboration with the government and people of Vietnam, is expanding engagement and announcing new initiatives as outlined below.
INVESTING IN THE INNOVATION ECONOMY, COOPERATING IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
As innovation changes the landscape of the global economy, the United States and Vietnam are deepening cooperation on critical and emerging technology to increase the prosperity for our people—and for people across the Indo-Pacific region. During his trip, President Biden and Secretary Blinken will convene a U.S.-Vietnam Innovation and Investment Summit with U.S. and Vietnamese industry leaders—alongside Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Minister Nguyen Chi Dung—to discuss priorities for expanding technology and economic cooperation, including Vietnamese investments in the United States. The United States will announce an ambitious set of new initiatives to propel the partnership into the future, including:
- New Semiconductor Partnership to Support Resilient Semiconductor Supply Chains for U.S. Industry, Consumers, and Workers: The United States recognizes Vietnam’s potential to play a critical role in building resilient semiconductor supply chains, particularly to expand capacity in reliable partners where it cannot be re-shored to the United States and further promote manufacturing and industry development at home under the U.S. CHIPS Act. A newly-signed Memorandum of Cooperation on Semiconductor Supply Chains, Workforce and Ecosystem Development will formalize this bilateral partnership to expand the capacity of the semiconductor ecosystem in Vietnam, in support of U.S. industry. Under the International Technology Security and Innovation Fund (“ITSI” Fund), created by the CHIPS Act of 2022, the United States will partner with Vietnam to further develop Vietnam’s current semiconductor ecosystem, regulatory framework, and workforce and infrastructure needs.
- Establishing Workforce Development Initiatives to Support Semiconductor Capacity in the United States: The United States and Vietnam announce the launch of comprehensive workforce development initiatives in Vietnam that jointly develop hands-on teaching labs and training courses for semiconductor assembly, testing, and packaging. The U.S. government will provide initial seed funding of $2 million to launch the initiatives, in conjunction with future support from the Government of Vietnam and the private sector. The effort will support the expansion of good jobs for the American middle class for work further up the semiconductor industry value chain.
- Developing Electronics & Leading Technology Advancement Partnerships (DELTA) Network: The United States and Vietnam intend to launch a DELTA network with key regional governments and industry entities to bridge and coordinate technology strategies with like-minded partners that share our commitment to building secure and resilient technology supply chains. The DELTA Network will promote talent cultivation, policy coordination, and sector efficiencies in the manufacture of electronic components, against the backdrop of regional trends.
- Vietnam-U.S. Science and Technology Agreement for Research: The United States and Vietnam intend to expand bilateral joint research through the Vietnam-U.S. Science and Technology Agreement for Research (VUSTAR). VUSTAR will identify priorities for potential collaboration in areas that include artificial intelligence, R&D and governance, health and medical science, climate science, biotechnology, and conservation.
CULTIVATING PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE TIES: EDUCATION AND TRAINING
People-to-people ties are the foundation of our enduring partnership with Vietnam. It is through cooperation on education and training that the United States and Vietnam have made some of the greatest gains to rebuild mutual trust and understanding. Vietnamese students studying in United States represent the fifth-largest foreign student population, and many of these students are pursuing careers in science, technology, and engineering at community colleges, universities, and higher education institutions. For more than 31 years, the Fulbright Program in Vietnam has connected thousands of American and Vietnamese scholars and students in fields such as climate science, business, and arts, and prepared them to be leaders in their fields. In June 2023, the U.S.-supported Fulbright University, Vietnam’s first independent non-profit higher education institution, graduated its first undergraduate class and, with financing from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), will expand to a new campus. After a historic, successful first year with its inaugural cohort of nine volunteers in Vietnam, the Peace Corps’ English education program, in partnership with Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training, looks forward to welcoming its second group of volunteers in 2023.
To expand educational cooperation as part of the bilateral upgrade in relations and to the benefit of people in both countries, the United States plans the following new programs:
STEM Champions of Vietnam Initiative: New STEM-focused education initiative that targets the full spectrum of the Vietnamese education sector – from K-12 to post-graduate studies – to connect Vietnamese education and governmental institutions with their U.S. counterparts to strengthen their ability to develop future leaders in science and new technologies.
Upskill Vietnam and Foster Digital Growth: This program will enable Vietnam to unleash the potential of the digital economy to become a key driver of the country’s continued growth. Working with Congress, USAID will provide an initial investment of $12.75 million. The program will engage in: (1) a five-year Higher Education Policy Support project with the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) to modernize and internationalize Vietnam’s higher education sector; (2) a three-year Vietnam Digital Trade activity that facilitates digital trade and promotes private sector engagement in Vietnam; (3) new five-year Innovative Workforce Development activity that supports the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s (MPI) National Innovation Center.
DEEPENING OUR TRADE, INVESTMENT, AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION
In elevating our partnership, the United States and Vietnam reaffirm a shared commitment to regional prosperity through improved economic cooperation. In partnership with Vietnam, the United States will drive new investments through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure by strategically deploying more public capital to better mobilize financing and expertise from the private sector to scale these investments for the years to come.
The United States intends to do this by:
Expanding Agricultural Trade: Building on recent announcements that market access was granted to U.S. grapefruit and Vietnamese pomelos, the two countries anticipate market access for additional agricultural products will soon follow.
Increasing Access to Capital for Underserved Borrowers: New projects by the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), such as Tien Phong (TP) Commercial Joint Stock Bank ($100 million), the Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VP Bank)($300 million), and the Beacon Fund ($50 million), that expands lending opportunities to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are women-owned, women-operated, and/or climate-focused. These efforts help address issues such as the financing gap for women entrepreneurs, support weather-related adaptation and mitigation measures, promote sustainable agriculture, and improve energy efficiency through the deployment of renewable energy sources.
PROMOTING AND PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS
President Biden underscores the universality of human rights and the importance of our bilateral cooperation to advance human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedoms of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and religion or belief, at home and abroad.
Enhanced Commitment to Meaningful Dialogue: The U.S.-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue is an important mechanism to discuss a wide range of human and labor rights-related issues including: freedoms of expression and association; freedom of religion or belief; rule of law and legal reform; and the rights of members of marginalized populations, including women and girls, ethnic minority groups, LGBTQI+ persons, and persons with disabilities, as well as individual cases of concern.
ADVANCING CLIMATE, ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, AND HEALTH COOPERATION
Climate, energy, environment, and health are all essential elements of a dynamic thriving technology-focused innovation-based society and economy. To promote progress in these areas, the United States is expanding its collaboration with Vietnam through new projects and mechanisms:
U.S – Vietnam Bilateral Climate Working Group: The two countries will launch a new working group to coordinate bilateral climate related projects and initiatives to strengthen adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change such as the Net Zero World Program.
Climate Resilient Agriculture in the Mekong Delta: USAID will launch a new project that builds climate resilience for traditional agriculture-based economies of the Mekong Delta. With an initial investment of $11.41 million over two years, subject to engagement with Congress, this project will support a vital region that produces roughly half of Vietnam’s total rice harvest and nearly three quarters of its fruit, aquaculture, and fisheries products.
Expand Energy Storage Capacity: The U.S. government, in collaboration with AMI AC Renewables, a Vietnamese company, and Honeywell, a U.S. company, will launch a new pilot project that develops Vietnam’s first event battery energy storage system in Khanh Hoa Province. This pilot project demonstrates how energy storage can help Vietnam integrate more renewable energy into its power system to meet ambitious climate goals.
Diverse and Securing Critical Mineral Supply Chains: A bilateral Memorandum of Understanding strengthens technical cooperation to support Vietnam’s efforts to quantify its Rare Earth Elements (REE) resources and economic potential, attract quality investment for integrated REE sector development, and meet high environmental, social, and governance standards.
Cooperation on Global Health Security: A new suite of new activities that strengthen Vietnam’s core public health capacities, increase laboratories’ capabilities, improve surveillance systems, and enhance Infection Prevention and Control capacities.
Advanced Care and Treatment for Cancer: The United States intends to expand existing academic and health partnerships to train and mentor medical professionals and faculty to enhance palliative care for cancer patients.
Medical Device Policy Frameworks: U.S. Trade and Development Agency plans to host a healthcare workshop and Reverse Trade Mission (RTM) from Vietnam’s Ministry of Health to facilitate increased information sharing on best practices in synchronizing a single regulatory framework to govern all aspects of medical devices in Vietnam through the development of their first ever “Law on Medical Devices.”
ADDRESSING WAR LEGACIES
The United States and Vietnam have overcome a difficult past to become trusted partners. President Biden committed to Vietnamese government leaders our resolve and unwavering cooperation in our collective pursuit to continue addressing war legacy issues.
The U.S. government is dedicated to supporting the Vietnamese in developing a technology-led system for identification of remains from the war. An interagency effort intends to extend archival research to help identify locations of Vietnamese missing or fallen individuals, as well as cutting-edge DNA technology, including the transfer of expertise and equipment to Vietnamese laboratories.
The United States is expanding the following efforts:
Advancing our Commitment to Complete Dioxin Remediation at Bien Hoa: The United States Government announces a new step toward completing the dioxin remediation project at the Bien Hoa Air Base Area, in accordance with the project Master Plan. The United States and Vietnam signed an amended bilateral partnership agreement, raising the ceiling of our existing agreement from $183 million to $300 million, and expands the agreement to cover implementation of the project until 2028. With this expanded agreement, the United States plans to make available an additional $55 million for the Project in the next year, subject to engagement with Congress, with additional investments in the future from both USAID and the Department of Defense (DOD).
Supporting Persons with Disabilities: USAID will expand their essential health and social service programs that support persons with disabilities into two new provinces Bac Lieu and Ca Mau, thus raising the number of supported provinces to 10.
Scientific Training for the Vietnamese Office for Seeking Missing Persons: The United States seeks to increase scientific training and technology support and exchanges offered at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii, as well as on-site in Hanoi.
Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Activities: The United States will provide an additional $25 million to further UXO clearance and tracking activities to the Vietnam National Mine Center in Central Vietnam. The United States’ long-standing commitment to this effort totals over $230 million in UXO since 1993.
BOLSTERING OUR SECURITY THROUGH ENHANCED COOPERATION
In deepening our bilateral security cooperation, the United States-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership will also enhance the collective security of the region. The United States is announcing new programs and equipment donations worth $8.9 million to build Vietnamese capacity to fight regional and international transnational crime. These programs include improving maritime domain awareness, port facility security, cargo security, and building Vietnam’s ability to counter illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. The United States and Vietnam have enhanced bilateral engagement on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) to address new and emerging trafficking trends, including support to combat TIP, child sexual exploitation, and the growing issue of cyber scam operations in Southeast Asia.
REINFORCING OUR BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS TIES
We welcome the progress of U.S. and Vietnamese businesses moving ahead with new and expanded initiatives that will increase trade and commerce between our two countries. Some examples include:
Expanding Commerce in the Aviation Industry: Boeing and Vietnam Airlines will sign a multi-billion-dollar proposal acceptance to purchase 50 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that will benefit both countries by supporting U.S. manufacturing jobs and providing world-class aircraft to support Vietnam’s growing travel and tourism industry as they aspire to become a leading aviation hub. This deal is will support over 33,000 direct and indirect jobs across the United States.
Strengthening Semiconductor Supply Chains: Arizona-based Amkor Technology will announce the commencement of operations at its state-of-the art factory in Bac Ninh Province in October 2023. Total investment for the project is $1.6 billion. California-based Synopsys is launching a semiconductor design and incubation center in collaboration with Saigon Hi-Tech Park. California-based Marvell will announce that it will establish a world class semiconductor design center in Ho Chi Minh City.
Furthering Technology Partnerships: Microsoft and Truthing Social will announce an agreement to develop a generative AI-based solution tailored for Vietnam and emerging markets. NVIDIA is partnering with FPT, Viettel, and VinGroup to deploy AI in the cloud, automotive, and healthcare industries. Meta Platforms and the Vietnam National Innovation Center will announce the Vietnam Innovation Challenge, a program to promote digital transformation among small and medium enterprises.
Boosting Travel, Transport, Tourism: VinFast continues to progress on the construction of its $4 billion electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing facility in North Carolina. 3M concluded an agreement with Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport to improve traffic safety. New York-based Nobu Hospitality will announce a partnership with Viet Capital Real Estate (CVRE) to bring the first ever Nobu hotel, residences, and restaurant to Vietnam.
Enhancing Strategic Port and Energy Infrastructure: Seattle-based port operator SSA Marine and Vietnamese private company Gemadept will announce their intent to collaborate on strategic port projects in southern Vietnam, including their joint interest in developing the proposed $6.7 billion dollar Cai Mep Ha Logistics Center.
Promoting Climate Resilience and Innovation: Massachusetts-based Australis Aquaculture will sign an MOU with Khanh Hoa Province to invest an additional $100 million to expand its sustainable aquaculture operations in Van Phong Bay.
Strengthening Financial Services and Capital Markets: United Beacon Asia Media will launch the inaugural issue of Bloomberg BusinessWeek Vietnam in October 2023. VNG filed for an Initial Public Offering on the Nasdaq, representing the first Vietnamese technology company to list in the United States, and one of several Vietnamese companies looking to access U.S. capital markets to fuel growth and innovation. Crane Currency has signed an MoU with Vietnam-based Q&T Hi-Tech Polymer Co. Ltd. to help the State Bank of Vietnam secure Vietnam’s next generation of bank notes.