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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Signing of Memorandum of Cooperation Between U.S. Trade and Development Agency and Vietnam

September 14, 2011


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TRANSPORTATION MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE


SIGNING OF MEMORANDUM OF COOPERATION BETWEEN

U.S. TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY AND VIETNAM

SECRETARY RAY LAHOOD

DIRECTOR LEOCADIA ZAK

PERMANENT VICE MINISTER NGO THINH DUC

DIRECTOR GENERAL LE XUAN TUNG

 

September 14, 2011

San Francisco, CA

 

MODERATOR: HENRY STEINGASS, Regional Director for South and Southeast Asia U.S. Trade and Development Agency

Thank you very much for coming this morning to this signing ceremony. It’s for a project in Vietnam supported by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and we are very happy to have with us Secretary Ray LaHood of the Department of Transportation, Director Leocadia Zak of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, First Vice Minister Duc of the Ministry of Transport of Vietnam and Mr. Le Xuan Tung, Director General, Middle Airports Corporation of Vietnam.

SECRETARY LAHOOD: Well, good morning. Good morning.

It’s my pleasure to welcome you this morning to an important signing ceremony for an aviation sector agreement between the United States and Vietnam. And it’s also my pleasure to recognize our colleagues from the U.S. government, U.S. Trade and Development Agency and also for sponsoring and funding this very important airport development study agreement. And I am pleased that our colleagues are certainly a part of this.

I would also like to note that the Department of Transportation has had the pleasure over recent years of working closely with USTDA on a number of APEC initiatives in the aviation sector. It’s also my pleasure to recognize one of our most distinguished APEC counterparts from Vietnam, First Vice Minister of Transport. Thank you, sir.

I am pleased that Vice Minister Duc is contributing to our ministerial program also today and could join us to witness this important agreement. And he is joined by the director general of Vietnam’s Middle Airports Corporation who will sign the agreement on behalf of the Vietnam government.

This is an important study and it represents an opportunity to advance transportation and infrastructure priorities for Vietnam following the best development practices that we are discussing in the APEC context. I understand the effort will assess the key role to be played by public-private partnerships and will highlight modern aviation safety in cargo technologies among other aspects of sustainable transportation systems.

It will also clearly promote not only a greater sharing of expertise across our partnership economies but also greater trade and business relationships between Vietnam and the United States. I think you will agree that this agreement demonstrates well the types of cooperation in transportation sector that we are highlighting at this important APEC transportation ministerial meeting today.

So on behalf of the U.S. government, I wish all parties success as they promote the further development of the aviation sector in Vietnam along with increased cooperation between our economies. Thank you.

[Applause.]

MODERATOR: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. It’s my pleasure now to introduce Director Leocadia Zak from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. Lee?

DIRECTOR ZAK: Thank you very much, Henry, and thank you Secretary LaHood.

The Department of Transportation clearly has been a terrific partner with USTDA, and we really appreciate you being here today. I am also pleased to be here with so many distinguished people, and I’d like to recognize our Vietnam partners, in particular Vice Minister Duc and Director General Tung for taking part in this ceremony today. We are delighted that you were able to join us and be part of the APEC ceremony.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency has had a long history in Vietnam, and we work in a number of areas of infrastructure, but clearly, aviation is a very important area. In particular, in Vietnam, aviation is growing at a dramatic pass, and as a result, we are delighted to be able to be part of that growth and to partner and to bring the U.S. private sector as part of a partner with that growth.

In the past, USTDA has worked with the Civil Aviation Authority and Vietnam Airlines, so today we’re really delighted to be able to be working with the Middle Airports Corporation as we sign this grant.

This morning, as I was listening to the opening remarks, it really struck me that this is actually the perfect grant to be signing today. Ambassador Noor made remarks about the fact of the importance of the efficiency of the supply chain, and that’s clearly one of the things that this grant speaks to today.

The agreement that we are about to sign is very important because it promotes the expansion of the Chu Lai Airport and to help to modernize it as a cargo hub as well as increasing passenger facility.

The study is a public-private partnership with USTDA, and one of our goals at USTDA is to try to bring the U.S. private sector as part of the solution with respect to developmental challenges. But clearly, the other aspect of this is to be able to develop trade and expand trade, so this is a perfect opportunity, focusing on developing the infrastructure for trade and also an opportunity with very good partners between the United States, USTDA and our partners in Vietnam and the private sector.

So we’re delighted that we are able to use this as an example of how transportation can work for trade, and we’re delighted to be partnering once again with Vietnam on this very important grant to be able to expand this airport. So thank you very much.

It is clearly my pleasure to be able to introduce Vice Minister Duc for a few remarks before we sign the grant agreement. Thank you all very much.

[Applause.]

VICE MINISTER DUC: [Remarks in Vietnamese.]

[Applause.]

MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Vice Minister Duc.

I would like to ask at this time for Director Zak and Director General Tung to sit at the table to sign, and I’d like to ask Secretary LaHood and Vice Minister Duc to stand behind for witnessing.

[Pause in proceedings for signing.]

MODERATOR: And thank you for joining us in this intimate space this morning.

If Director General Tung and Director Zak could stand behind as Secretary LaHood and Vice Minister Duc witness.

[Pause in Proceedings.]

[Applause.]

MODERATOR: And if I could ask Secretary LaHood to present the documents as the chair of the APEC Ministerial. Thank you so much.

[Applause.]

[Inaudible Q&A.]

[Applause.]


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