Return to Hanoi
Although the visit felt too short, it was wonderful to return to Hanoi to lead the US-ASEAN Business Council’s Vietnam Business Mission after more than two years away. Some were nervous about the surge in COVID-19 cases, but we decided to take a risk, as Vietnam is eager to reopen for business. Our delegation of more than forty US companies – including some of the world’s largest – received the warmest possible welcome.
The Prime Minister, the National Assembly Chairman, the leader of the Central Economic Commission, the Minister of Public Security and other senior leaders expressed support for deeper engagement with US businesses and a willingness to remove obstacles. US senior executives left optimistic about prospects for Vietnam’s recovery from the COVID pandemic, and ready to contribute to that recovery. We explored with Vietnam’s leaders the steps that can be taken to boost Vietnam’s fast-growing internet economy and accelerate its transition to cleaner sources of energy.
I gave copies of my book, Nothing Is Impossible: America's Reconciliation with Vietnam, to senior leaders and to some close friends, and I was happy to learn that some of them had already read it! Of course I was thrilled to see a city that I love -- my second que huong -- and to catch up with friends whom I have missed a lot. I hope I can return soon!!
Meeting with the Prime Minister
Meeting with the National Assembly Chairman
Meeting with the leader of the Central Economic Commission