US bank pushes for infrastructure deals in Vietnam

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The Export-Import Bank of the United States is promoting the closure of nearly US$1.5 billion in critical infrastructure projects in Vietnam to support the purchase of American goods and services.

The bank, also known as Ex-Im Bank, authorized about US$1 million in financing to Vietnam last year, and nearly $1.5 billion in infrastructure projects are currently under discussion, including satellite, thermal power, and renewable energy projects, the US Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City said in a statement.

It said the financing came under two memoranda of understanding signed in 2010 and 2011, which called for the facilitation of US exports to Vietnam in key sectors such as air transportation, power generation and transmission, and oil and gas development.

"Vietnam is a country of enormous potential, and it is vital that we work together and invest in projects that benefit both of our economies," said Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of the bank. "Significant infrastructure developments are planned throughout Vietnam over the next several years, and I'm here to ensure that American companies invest in those projects, and that we maintain a dynamic and comprehensive partnership."

According to the statement, Vietnam is one of nine key markets where Ex-Im Bank is focusing its business-development efforts because of the country's infrastructure and development needs. Ex-Im Bank's current exposure to Vietnam is $175.8 million.

Hochberg finished a four-day business mission Wednesday, after meeting with government leaders boost commercial ties and business opportunities between the two countries.

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