Salem, OR—(posted from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) –– At the opening of the Vietnam-U.S. Trade Forum 2022 on Thursday, Governor Kate Brown signed a memorandum of understanding with Vice Minister Do Thang Hai of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, committing to cooperation to enhance the development of bilateral trade, economic development, and investment in energy, particularly renewable energy.
“With Vietnam’s growing economy and alignment with Oregon’s export opportunities, there is great potential to continue to strengthen and grow trade between Vietnam and Oregon,” said Governor Brown. “When I first visited Vietnam in 2015, I signed a letter of intent strengthening ties between Vietnam and Oregon, committing to government, business, and academic partnership, as well as cooperation around issues like business, agriculture, tourism, and the environment.
“I’m proud today to renew that commitment, by signing an MOU that will deepen our cooperation in trade and investment around renewable energy, economic development, and commerce. Our continued partnership will be mutually beneficial for our working families, our economies, and our communities. While this is my last official visit as Governor, I know that the bonds between our two countries will continue to grow in the years to come.”
Earlier in the week at the Vietnam FoodExpo 2022, the Governor announced that Oregon has been selected as the event's guest of honor in 2023. Next year, the Oregon Department of Agriculture will return to the expo with Oregon agricultural and food businesses to showcase Oregon products.
The Governor was in Vietnam to promote trade, exports, education, and strategic partnerships. Joining the Governor as part of the delegation were representatives from the public and private sectors, including representatives from Business Oregon, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Portland State University, and the Port of Portland.
Vietnam is Oregon’s eighth largest export market, with over $1 billion in exports in 2021, in large part due to Vietnam’s significant manufacturing sector. Since the opening of Intel’s testing and assembly plant in Vietnam in 2010, electronics and computer part exports from Oregon to Vietnam have grown significantly, making up nearly 80% of Oregon’s trade with Vietnam in 2021. Shoe components are another major export. Vietnam is Oregon’s tenth largest market for agriculture, food, and beverages with more than $24 million in exports in 2021, most of which was Oregon wheat.
Since Governor Brown took office in 2015, Oregon exports have risen 49%, the sixth largest increase in exports in the nation during that period. During the pandemic, Oregon was one of only six states in the country to see positive export growth between 2019 and 2020. Nearly 6,000 Oregon companies export internationally, and 83,000 Oregon jobs are supported by exports.
While in Vietnam, the Governor met with President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, Vice Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Minister for Education Nguyen Van Phuc, Foriegn Affairs Minister Bui Thanh Son, Hanoi Mayor Tran Sy Thanh, and Ho Chi Minh Mayor Phan Van Mai. She also visited Klever Fruits and Big C, two Vietnamese stores that sell fresh Oregon fruit and produce.
Governor Brown was the first sitting Oregon governor to travel to Vietnam in 2015, when she visited the city of Hanoi. This week’s visit included her first trip to Ho Chi Minh City, where several Oregon-based companies have made significant investments in manufacturing. The Governor met with leaders from a number of companies to discuss opportunities for growth, including Intel, Nike, Columbia Sportswear, and Adidas.
She also met with U.S. Ambassador Marc Knapper and U.S. Consul General Susan Burns. The Governor also marked the tenth anniversary of the state partnership between the Oregon National Guard and the National Committee for Incident, Disaster Response, and Search and Rescue of Vietnam.
A copy of the trade MOU between Oregon and Vietnam is available here.
Photos from the Governor’s meetings in Vietnam are available here.