Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh met with leaders of global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and Visa Group in New York and held phone talks with the Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during his trip to the US.
At a meeting with Joseph Bae, Co-Chief Executive Officer of KKR, on May 16 (US time), the PM asked the firm to share its experience and offer proposals to Viet Nam.
Joseph Bae expressed KKR’s wish to expand its operation in real estate, infrastructure, digital transformation, food, consumer goods and technology in Viet Nam, noting that the firm had invested more than US$1 billion in three Vietnamese companies.
Viet Nam is an attractive market for investors with incentives rolled out by the Government, along with its favourable geographical location, and young, dynamic population, according to Bae.
The Southeast Asian nation is also the destination for many added value services.
PM Chinh lauded KKR's investment in the private sector in Viet Nam, and welcomed its plan to expand investment in the country, stressing that the firm's investment focuses match Viet Nam's priorities.
He told the Co-CEO that Viet Nam lured investments worth $1.3 billion in start-ups last year, the biggest ever number despite impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the meeting, KKR shared its experience in promoting investment in energy infrastructure, digital transformation and medical infrastructure, which Bae said needed strong public-private partnerships (PPP) and a transparent legal framework to consolidate investors' confidence, and improve the efficiency of the capital market as well as project management capacity.
He believed that the comprehensive cooperation between the Vietnamese and US government would facilitate investment activities.
Chinh also asked for KKR’s policy consultations and support in technology and personnel training, and suggested the firm increase its presence in Viet Nam to enhance the cooperation.
The same day, the Vietnamese PM met with Alfred Kelly, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Visa Inc., a global digital payments company, and some CEOs from US groups like Citigroup and Standard & Poor.
Visa has operated in Viet Nam for more than two decades and is expanding its investment in online payment.
The Visa leader expressed his impressions of Viet Nam's dynamic development, and congratulated the country on its hosting of SEA Games 31, which showcases Viet Nam's competent handling of COVID-19 and subsequent reopening.
Visa also highly valued Viet Nam's cashless payment plan and the development of the service in the country, with its growth expanding from 8 per cent in 2020 to 28 per cent this year.
Kelly said he believed that the Vietnamese government would achieve the target of cashless payment by 2027.
Visa wanted to further its cooperation with Viet Nam, helping the country fulfill its growth and reform targets in the financial sector, while providing support in digital transformation, assisting small and medium-sized enterprises, building smart cities and developing smart transport, he continued.
Praising Visa's operation in Viet Nam over the past 20 years, Chinh emphasised that the firm had played a role in the development of card payment in Viet Nam, called on the firm to expand its investment, work on new products, foster its partnerships with local commercial banks, and further engage in restructuring, digital transformation and financial development in Viet Nam.
The PM showed his support for cooperation between Visa and the Vietnamese Government in financial reform and cashless payment development, suggesting the company coordinate with the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) to help with the implementation of the 2021-25 project on cashless payment development in Viet Nam.
PM Chinh also held a phone meeting with Antoinette Monsio Sayeh, Deputy Managing Director of the IMF.
The PM thanked the IMF for its support in accessing vaccines and finances, as well as its advice in COVID-19 prevention and control, macro-economic policy making, sustainable development, and especially monetary policy stabilisation.
Briefing Sayeh on Viet Nam's initial achievements in socio-economic recovery post pandemic, the PM suggested the IMF assist the country in these efforts, and provide consultations, recommendations, technical support and assistance in personnel training during the planning and implementation of the 2021-25 socio-economic development plan, and the 2021-30 socio-economic development strategy.
Chinh also called for the fund's support for socio-economic development in Viet Nam in order to make it a developing country with modern industry and high middle income by 2030, and a developed, high-income nation by 2045.
For the short term, he suggested the IMF help Viet Nam with consultations in ensuring the macro-economic stability; developing a transparent, sustainable capital market; controlling inflation; developing logistics; technological innovation and digital transformation; climate change response; and energy transition.
Sayeh affirmed Viet Nam was a good partner of the IMF, noting that the fund stood ready to support the country as suggested by the PM, including policy consultations.
She added that she wanted to visit Viet Nam to hold working sessions with competent agencies on specific programmes. — VNS
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