The delegation of more than 50 companies is a sign of rising interest in the global manufacturing hub, which is benefiting from a shift away from China amid Sino-US trade friction.
SpaceX, Netflix and Boeing are among the companies joining the “biggest-ever” US business mission to Vietnam next week to discuss investment and sales opportunities in the booming Southeast Asian nation.
More than 50 companies, including defence, pharmaceutical and tech firms, will participate in the mission according to the organiser US-ASEAN Business Council, an industry body said on Friday.
“This is the biggest-ever mission in Vietnam,” said Vu Tu Thanh,the US-ASEAN Business Council’s representative in the country, noting that the body had been organising these events for three decades.
Streaming giant Netflix, which was already planning to open an office in Vietnam, is among the companies joining the trip. Netflix did not respond to a request for comment.
Aerospace manufacturers Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Bell will hold meetings with state-owned Vietnamese defence procurement companies, Thanh said.
The mission will also include semiconductors companies, pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, medical device maker Abbott, financial firms Visa and Citibank, internet and cloud companies Meta and Amazon Web Services, the list showed.
According to Thanh, this is the first time in about a decade that security firms decided to join the annual mission to Vietnam. In December, the same companies held talks with Vietnamese government officials.
The talks, about the possible sale of helicopters and drones, came as the seeks new suppliers and the Ukraine conflict strains the capabilities of Russia, for decades Vietnam’s main military partner.
Boeing said in a statement that its discussions with officials would focus on its growing partnership with Vietnam and ways to strengthen the country’s aviation and defence capabilities.
The majority of the companies joining the business mission already have a business or manufacturing presence in Vietnam, including Apple, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, Thanh said, with some planning to expand it.
Some companies are also coming to get a better sense of the political situation after recent turmoil in the Communist-Party led country, including the resignation of the president in January, Thanh added.
Participants will have meetings with Vietnam’s top political and regulatory leadership, including Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.
Thanh said some companies were interested in Vietnam as a manufacturing hub and in providing services to increasingly wealthy consumers at a time when economic growth reached more than 8 percent last year.
Among them is SpaceX, which is looking to sell its satellite internet services to Vietnam and other countries in the region, Thanh said. SpaceX did not respond to a request for comment.