Ambassador Kritenbrink, along with Mr. Le Khac Nam, Vice Chairman, Haiphong People’s Committee, Mr. Mai Xuan Thanh, Deputy Director General of Vietnam Customs, and Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Team Vu Viet Ngoan highlighted the cooperation between U.S. companies and Vietnamese Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). The workshop focused on the role of the digital economy, trade facilitation, and partnership opportunities with U.S. corporations for 200 SME owners.

GE welcomes Ambassador Kritenbrink to their factory in Haiphong.

Ambassador Kritenbrink stated, “I am so pleased to see representatives of world class U.S. companies here – Microsoft, Cisco, FedEx, Coca-Cola, and Visa. These great companies are also promoting the integration of Vietnam’s leading small and medium enterprises into the global supply chain. And they are leveraging Industrial Revolution 4.0 technologies to help your companies succeed. Like my government, they too are invested in Vietnam’s success.”

Chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Team Mr. Vu Viet Ngoan, GE General Manager, Ms. Vu Thu Trang, Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink, Senior Vice President of the USABC Michael Michalak, Deputy Regional Managing Director of USABC Mr. Vu Tu Thanh and the GE Team wearing protective gear before tour starts at GE factory.

The United States is committed to working with Vietnam to help Vietnamese SMEs adapt to the modern global economy. USAID recently awarded the new five-year, $22 million Linkages for Small and Medium Enterprises (LinkSME) project to International Executive Service Corps. LinkSME aims to improve and expand the supplier-buyer relationships between Vietnamese and foreign firms. This project will raise productivity and increase Vietnam’s capacity to supply products to larger companies both inside and outside Vietnam. Foreign firms will reap efficiency benefits from increased local sourcing. LinkSME will help Vietnamese entrepreneurs up and down the value chain pursue new opportunities and provide new jobs for their communities.

The Ambassador and the USABC delegation visited General Electric’s (GE) “Brilliant” factory in Haiphong, one of GE’s most advanced manufacturing facilities, where they learned about GE’s long-term partnerships with local Vietnamese suppliers. GE supports its Vietnamese partners through sharing how to improve their management capabilities and use advanced technology. Twenty percent of GE’s manufacturing inputs are sourced from local Vietnamese suppliers. GE hopes to raise that number even higher.

Chung Anh