MarAd Vietnam Sign New Bilateral Maritime Agreement

Thursday, March 15, 2007
U.S. maritime shippers, carriers and port operators will have far-reaching access to Vietnam’s rapidly expanding markets for transportation services, thanks to a new agreement signed today by U.S. Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton and Vuong Dinh Lam, Vietnam’s national maritime administration chairman. Under the terms of the new agreement, U.S. companies may acquire a controlling 51 percent share in joint venture enterprises, such as partnering arrangements between U.S. and Vietnamese companies. The agreement also allows U.S. companies to take a lead role in providing a wide range of maritime services including cargo agency, cargo documentation, cargo management, ocean freight forwarding, storage and warehouse services, and container station and depot services. Five years after the Agreement is implemented, U.S. companies will be permitted to establish their own companies and offer a full range of shipping services without having to include a Vietnamese partner. Prior to the agreement U.S. companies were restricted to minority holdings in Vietnamese companies. The agreement builds upon other Administration initiatives to deepen U.S.-Vietnam economic relations, including last year's trade agreement between the two countries, Connaughton added.

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