Vietnam Net Bridge, 3 July 2015. US billionaire amazed at Vietnam’s economic change.

An edited extract of the original article appears below.

Speaking at an investment promotion conference themed My Vietnam- your investment destination, held in New York on 1 July 2015, billionaire Wilbur L. Ross said Vietnam is an attractive destination of international capital flows.

“I went to Vietnam for the first time in 2001. At that time, many families still drove bicycles. Recently, I visited Vietnam and I saw them owning cars and even big hotels. Obviously, Vietnam has had impressive economic growth and I personally think that this is the safest country in the world,” he said.

This investor has assets of about $3 billion and is the 603rd richest person in the world, according to Forbes.

He praised the business environment in Vietnam, for its efforts to reform the economy, including tax policy reform and the loosening of ownership of shares for foreign investors. The 78-year-old billionaire said that Vietnam’s major industries for export and property would thrive and be worth investment interest.

The President of Harbinger Foundation, Mr. Philip A. Falcone, eight years ago decided to invest in the $4 billion Ho Tram resort in the southern city of Vung Tau.

“Many investors asked me why I chose Vietnam, a country far away from the US with economic and business culture different from the US. I chose Vietnam because I believed in the development of an economy with nearly 90 million people, mainly the young, who are enthusiastic and work hard to overcome difficulties,” said Falcone.

He said that in the past eight years, his project in Vietnam experienced numerous ups and downs, but he was happy to be the American pioneer to invest in the tourism and resort industry in Vietnam…

Vietnamese Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung said the US is one of the largest economic – trade – investment partners of Vietnam. As of February 2015, the US had invested $11 billion, ranking 7th in 101 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. On the capital market, there are about 995 active US investors, making up a relatively large proportion of foreign investors granted trading codes in Vietnam…

“The Vietnamese government hopes that foreign investors, including US investors, will be interested in opportunities in Vietnam, especially opportunity from the equitization process and investment on the stock market,” Dung said…

“At its opening, Vietnam’s stock market stipulated a maximum percentage of ownership of foreign investors at 30%, then it rose to 49%, and now it is 100%. This move expresses Vietnam’s determination for economic modernization and integration,” said Bang.

The investment promotion conference in America was held on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The event attracted more than 100 international investors… The four-day conference is being jointly held by the Ministry of Finance, the State Securities Commission (SSC) and partners from the US with the aim of providing an effective dialogue channel to help US investors gain better understanding about Vietnam’s situation and the Vietnamese Government’s policies and reform resolution…

To date, the US is one of Vietnam’s largest economic-trade-investment partners. As of February this year, there were 729 US investment projects worth 11 billion USD in Vietnam, putting the US as the 7th largest foreign investor in the country. The average capital amount for each US project is around 15.35 million USD, higher than the average for all other foreign invested projects, which is standing at 14.3 million USD for each. [By way of comparison, the size of Australia’s average investment is $5.2million.]…


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