Indo-Pacific forum connects firms

Thursday, Oct 29, 2020 07:21

Viet Nam and US government officials witness the signing of a US$1.4 billion joint venture between the PetroVietnam Gas Joint Stock Company (PV GAS) and the US-based AES Corporation. — VNA Photo

Senior government officials, industry executives and partners participated in the Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF), which began on Wednesday in Ha Noi, to discuss policies and help connect business communities in the region.

The virtual event was co-organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Ha Noi.

The first IPBF was held in Washington DC, the US in 2018. This is the first time Viet Nam hosted the event after the previous one took place in Thailand last year.

Billions in deals

At the forum, the PetroVietnam Gas Joint Stock Company (PV GAS) and the US-based AES Corporation signed a joint venture agreement for the development of the Son My LNG Import Terminal Project - a project with a total investment cost of US$1.4 billion.

This signing also marked the one-year anniversary of the historic agreement AES Corporation signed with the Vietnamese government to build the $1.8-billion Son My 2 combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant.

PV GAS General Director Duong Manh Son and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the AES Corporation Bernerd Da Santos inked the deal.

The Son My LNG Import Terminal Project will help meet the demand for gas and power in the southern key economic region and the whole country in general, thereby ensuring national energy security, Son said.

The project, located in the south central province of Binh Thuan with total capacity of up to 450 TBtu, is to supply gas to newly built gas-fired power plants with an output of 4,500 MW, other existing gas-fired power plants, and industrial complexes. Together, the 2.2-gigawatt power plant and terminal will play a major role in shaping Viet Nam's energy future by diversifying the energy mix with imported LNG as well as meeting the country’s increasing demand for sustainable and affordable electricity.

Cooperation opportunities

Minister of industry and trade Tran Tuan Anh said the event is an opportunity for US businesses and investors, as well as those in the region, to come together to share ideas and foster cooperation and partnerships.

VCCI's chairman Vu Tien Loc said the Indo-Pacific business community plays an important role as the region's economy with a focus on security, economic development and management.

"In a fast-changing world and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, technologies and digitalisation bring many opportunities for those who are able to take the lead," said Loc.

This year marks a quarter of a century since the normalisation of Viet Nam-US relations.

Charles Freeman, vice-president of the American Chamber of Commerce, said there have been remarkable changes in the business environment in the region, which has prompted businesses to make adjustments. Freeman also affirmed the importance of the region to the US' economic interests and that its commitment to the region remained unchanged.

During today's forum the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Vietnam Mission announced the launch of the Vietnam Low Emission Energy Program II (V-LEEP II). The five-year, $36-million programme is to accelerate Viet Nam’s transition to a clean, secure, and market-driven energy system.

“As USAID V-LEEP comes to a close early next year, USAID/Vietnam remains committed to strengthening partnerships and developing innovative solutions for a clean, affordable energy future for Viet Nam, by continuing our support through V-LEEP II,” said Mission Director Yastishock.

USAID V-LEEP II will focus on improving government energy planning practices; increasing competition and private sector involvement in energy service provision; deployment of advanced, clean energy systems; and improving grid planning to incorporate clean energy transmission. It will also help Viet Nam attract qualified investors for advanced energy projects and advise private firms to develop high quality and bankable projects. — VNS

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