A New Era in US-Vietnam Technological Partnership

U.S. President JoeBiden with Vietnam President Vo Van Thuong in Hanoi, Vietnam. (Image source: REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

The United States and Vietnam have solidified their strategic ties in a groundbreaking move that aims to boost technological capabilities and counterbalance regional influences. This partnership is set to pave the way for unprecedented business ventures driven by industry giants like Boeing, Microsoft, and Nvidia. It marks a significant milestone in the countries’ relationship, particularly in response to China’s rising dominance.

During his momentous two-day visit to Hanoi, President Joe Biden emphasized the deepening cooperation in critical domains such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence and the establishment of a robust semiconductor supply chain. He declared, “We’re expanding our economic partnership, spurring even greater trade and investment between our nations.”

At the core of this transformational partnership are substantial investments by key players in the semiconductor industry. Synopsys, Marvell, and Amkor are leading the charge with significant commitments toward developing chip design centers and assembly facilities in Vietnam under the CHIPS Act. Additionally, Amkor’s venture in Bac Ninh Province and Sypsys’ collaboration with Saigon Hi-Tech Park will further strengthen the semiconductor ecosystem in Vietnam. 

A pivotal Memorandum of Cooperation on Semiconductor Supply Chains, Workforce, and Ecosystem Development has been signed, formalizing the partnership to expand the semiconductor ecosystem’s capacity in Vietnam. The focus goes beyond assembly and testing to include semiconductor design centers and comprehensive training initiatives.

This monumental endeavor is driven by a collective effort to address the challenges of research and engineering shortages within the global semiconductor industry. Dr. Loi Nguyen, Executive Vice President of Marvell’s Optical and Copper Connectivity Group, sees the establishment of Marvell’s Design Centre in Vietnam as a crucial step towards bridging the talent gap and nurturing the semiconductor industry in the region.

Furthermore, a series of workforce development initiatives will be launched, creating hands-on teaching labs and training courses tailored for semiconductor assembly, testing, and packaging. The US government, along with the private sector and the Government of Vietnam, will provide an initial seed funding of $2 million to kickstart these initiatives. 

But this partnership extends beyond semiconductors. A bilateral Memoradum of Understanding strengthens technical cooperation to support Vietnam’s efforts in quantifying its Rare Earth Elements resources. This collaborative effort emphasizes high environmental, social, and governance standards, ensuring a sustainable and diversified supply chain independent of China’s influence. 

The comprehensive strategic partnership signed by the leaders of both nations signifies a monumental shift, placing the United States at the forefront of Hanoi’s bilateral ties. This transformation represents a historic departure from Vietnam’s cautious approach, driven by the need to balance relationships with its former adversary, China. 

Against the backdrop of geopolitical complexities, this collaborative venture aims to redefine this technological landscape, forging a new era of innovation, security, and economic prosperity for both nations. 

Learn more at Reuters and Beijing Times.

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