On January 23, 2008, delegates from the Vietnam Embassy in Washington, DC will be in Charleston, SC to speak at the South Carolina World Trade Center’s goGLOBAL! Luncheon Meeting on the topic: Business Opportunities with Vietnam.

In the past few years, Vietnam has become an increased presence in South Carolina imports and exports. According to the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census 2007 report from the World Trade Atlas, imports from Vietnam into SC have increased by $27.8 million up to a total of $91.6 million in the past two years. Additionally, exports from SC to Vietnam have increased by $8 million to a total of $14.9 million dollars. Top imports include: footwear; furniture & bedding; woven apparel; and knit apparel. Top exports include: wood; machinery; cotton & yarn fabric. Moreover, BuyUSA.gov claims Vietnam is, ‘‘the fastest developing market of the US in the Southeast Asia region.’

Visiting from the Vietnam Embassy are: Mr. Nguyen Tien Minh, Minister, Deputy Chief of the Mission; Mr. Ngo Van Thoan, Trade Counselor, Head of Trade Section; and Mr. Bui Liem, Counselor for Investment Affairs. Viet Nam US relations have seen significant developments, especially the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1995, the conclusion of the Bilateral Trade Agreement in July 2000, the signing of bilateral agreement on Vietnam’s accession to the World Trade Organization May 2006, the establishment of permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) in 2006 as well as exchange of visits by leaders of the two countries, namely President Bill Clinton’s visit to Vietnam (Nov 2000), Prime Minister Phan Van Khai’s visit to the US (June 2005), President George W. Bush’s visit to Vietnam (Nov 2006) and lately historic first visit to the US by Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet (June 2007). The future holds further successful relations between the two countries.

The agenda for the Vietnamese delegates begins with a private breakfast at the College of Charleston for professors and students followed by a tour of the Port of Charleston. During the luncheon, our honored guests will present an overview on business opportunities with Vietnam. After, an ‘up close’ Q&A briefing will take place in the form of Trader Roundtables. This will allow more in depth and personal discussions on trade and investment.