Global Business @ Meridian Downtown: Vietnam

Ambassador Stuart Holliday, Ambassador Vinh, and Mr. Won-Kyong Kim
Ambassador Stuart Holliday, Ambassador Vinh, and Mr. Won-Kyong Kim


Meridian held an installment of the Global Business@Meridian Downtown breakfast series on February 16th, 2017.  Hosted by Mr. Won-Kyong Kim, Executive Vice President for Samsung Electronics America, the program featured His Excellency Pham Quang Vinh, Ambassador of Vietnam to the United States, and drew 20 corporate leaders together to engage in an off-the-record dialogue on ‘Economic Opportunities in Vietnam.’


In Attendance

Corporate Council Members:

First Data Corporation
STUDIOS Architecture
The Coca-Cola Company
Squire Patton Boggs

Embassy of Vietnam: Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh, Pham Bich Thuy (Second Secretary)

Guests: Podesta Group, Uber

Meridian International Center: Ambassador Stuart Holliday, Amy Selco, Olivia Dorieux, Puru Trivedi

Featured Remarks:

  • Won-Kyong Kim, Samsung Electronics America
    Samsung Corporation is delighted to be a partner of the Government of Vietnam in its development goals. As the largest private company in Vietnam, Samsung stands by its commitment of investing in the people of Vietnam. Mr. Kim mentioned, from his experience representing Korea during the KORUS negotiations, that free trade has been the key to growth and foundation of economic success in Korea. His belief is that by collaborating with companies outside of Korea, Samsung has remained a big part of the global supply chain.
  • Ambassador Vinh, Embassy of Vietnam
    Vietnam is looking for ‘win-win’ scenarios in its trade negotiations. Vietnam is very interested in trading equally in political and economic terms. His understanding is that together with the United States, Vietnam can be a model economy in the region and can help deliver success and prosperity to its citizens.

Key Discussion Highlights

  • Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP): It is understood that key elements of the erstwhile TPP were the impetus for some companies to begin examining Vietnam as a potential location for their next foreign direct investments. Vietnam remains committed to working on an economic reforms package which will deliver the same results as the TPP. Vietnam will join other TPP countries in Chile later this year and will seek to continue to find an equitable solution. Many of the countries do not want to see their hard work and negotiations go to waste.
  • Trade: Vietnam will host the APEC Summit this year, and encourages the US to be a leader in APEC. The Ambassador agreed that Energy should be on the APEC agenda for this year. National reforms within Vietnam aim to bring increase the ease of doing business in the country, which will lead to an increase in trade. Many companies in the room remarked that RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) is working very well and that there is hope for the future to build upon RCEP to include other nations.
  • Regional Cooperation: It is good to adhere to rules and rule of law, and urges regional powers to not take coercive action which could affect the regional economies. There is a great need for all parties to have multi-lateral and regional cooperation frameworks adhered to.
  • Business Climate: The political climate in Vietnam is stable, which has led to liberalization a free market, seeking to promote growth and welfare to Vietnamese people.

Meridian looks forward to working with Vietnam on a number of upcoming initiatives and remaining engaged with the Embassy of Vietnam in Washington.

For Council items, please contact Puru P. Trivedi, Associate Director for Corporate Relations | 202-939-5524 |

Project summary

Global Business @ Meridian Downtown: Vietnam | March 2017
Number of Attendees: 22
Regions: East Asia and Pacific
Countries: Vietnam
Impact Areas: Business and Trade
Program Areas: Diplomatic Engagement
Partners: Private Sector, Diplomatic Corps