Friday, July 6, 2007

Busy with American partners

More than 20 contracts, memorandums of understanding, and economic cooperation agreements worth more than US$11.5 billion were signed between Vietnamese and American businesses during the recent visit by Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet to the US.

Though having only just recently returned to Vietnam, many Vietnamese firms are already busy with new business opportunities with US partners.

Do it immediately!

During the visit, Ms. Cao Thi Ngoc Dung, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Phu Nhuan Jewelry JS Company (PNJ), signed two business cooperation contracts with two US jewelry companies, Zalemark and DC&D.

Ms. Dung said that those contracts would be implemented this month. Under the contract with Zalemark, PNJ will be the representative of “Demeter” jewelry brand and some other lines of products such as “I forever do” and “Seventeen” of Zalemark in Vietnam.
“To perform this cooperation, Zalemark will assist PNJ in installing equipment, machinery and send experts to Vietnam to directly instruct PNJ’s workers to produce complicated jewelry products under Zalemark’s standards, which the Vietnamese jewelry industry can’t do now,” Ms. Dung said.

Zalemark will also give PNJ its latest designs and most popular collections to produce and sell in Vietnam. Those products will be sold in PNJ’s “Cao-Fine Jewelry” shop system.

After PNJ successfully produces designs under technical requirements of Zalemark, the US partner will place orders with PNJ for exports to the US.

“We put high hopes on this partner because this is a firm foundation and bridge for PNJ to infiltrate the US market,” Ms. Dung said.

This trip also helped improve cooperation between PNJ and DC&D, which has existed for the past three years.

Previously, PNJ processed high-class jewelry products, particularly diamond jewelry for DC&D to sell in the US market. With the new contract, PNJ expects to see a great jump in its export revenue to the US, from US$5.3 million to $20 million in the near future.

Big projects

The Phong Phu Textile-Garment Corporation also signed some important agreements with its strategic American partners.

According to Phong Phu’s leader Tran Quang Nghi, the most notable contract is the one between Phong Phu and the ITG Group on expanding their joint venture project on producing some kinds of cloth with total investment capital of around US$100 million.

This agreement is very important because in June 2006, the Phong Phu-ITG joint venture implemented an $80 million project at the Hoa Khanh Industrial Zone in the central city of Da Nang. ITG will seek export markets for more than 90% of the output of this factory.

In the field of real estate, Phong Phu signed with WL Ross a $100 million contract. In the long term, Phong Phu sees WL Ross as a strategic investor. Phong Phu is preparing to equitise next year.

Dang Thanh Tam, Chairman and General Director of the Tan Tao Industrial Zone JS Company, said that during this visit he signed a contract to build a sea port and thermo power plant with a capacity of 3,600 MW; and a financial lending and equipment supply contract, in the first phase totalling nearly US$4 billion, between the Saigon Invest Group, where he is the Chairman, and a big group in the US.

This was one of the two largest contracts signed between Vietnamese and US businesses during this visit.

Industrial zone up to US standards

According to Mr. Dang Thanh Tam, during the visit he met with several American investors who said that they were ready to cooperate with his company to build industrial zones in Vietnam, on several thousands of hectares.

“It is necessary to prepare well for this and we have prepared land in the north, the south and the central region,” Mr. Tam revealed.

Big contracts signed during the visit:

1/ The Electricity of Vietnam group (EVN) and the Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation (PetroVietnam) signed an agreement with Chevron on a project to develop gas in the southwest territorial waters of Vietnam, worth $4 billion.

2/ The Vietnam Shipping Lines Corporation (Vinalines) signed a project with SSA Marine to build wharfs and provide transport services worth around $500 million.

3/ Microsoft recognised FPT Group and CMC as its Authorized Large Account Reseller in Vietnam. FPT and CMC are authorised to draw up contracts on the use of authentic Microsoft Office software for the whole system of computers of Government agencies at central and local levels in Vietnam.

4/ The Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam (Agribank) and Microsoft signed a contract, under which Agribank forever owns the right to use 12,000 licences to use Microsoft Office Standard 2007 and any version of this software that Microsoft will introduce in the next three years.

Those industrial zones could potentially be built in the southern provinces of Long An, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, the central provinces of Quang Nam and Binh Dinh, and in the northern provinces of Ha Tay, Bac Ninh, Bac Giang and Vinh Phuc, Mr Tam said.

According to Tan Tao’s cooperation plans with US partners, the US side will send experts to Vietnam to design those industrial zones under American standards and call for investment in heavy industry, hi-tech, high value added and clean-technology industries in those industrial zones.

Mai Linh Group also signed memorandums of understanding in the areas of information technology and health with US partners.

Ho Huy, Chairman of the Board of Directors and General Director of Mai Linh Group, said that a $5 million memorandum of understanding was signed with SAP to build a management system up to international standard for Mai Linh.

Mai Linh also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Texas Medical Institute to build an international obstetrics hospital worth $100 million in Vietnam.

Source: Tuổi trẻ

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