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VIET PORTEX '96 Provides U.S. Companies With Access To Vietnam

"U.S. companies will find easy business access to one of the hottest markets in the world today, the transforming 'Dragon' of Vietnam, by exhibiting at VIET PORTEX '96," said Wolfram Diener, project manager of the trade show. This rapidly expanding sector of the market is served by a dynamic exhibition/conference that focuses on bringing together the buyers and sellers of port, shipbuilding and waterway construction equipment and related services. The mission of the trade show is to facilitate Vietnam's urgent needs for port expansion, offshore technology acquisition and transportation development. And from all indications, VIET PORTEX '96 will expand substantially in its second year, both in terms of exhibitors and international composition of visitors especially from Southeast Asia and Japan.

VIET PORTEX '96 will be held in Hanoi at the Culture Palace from November 26-29, with a technical conference scheduled for opening day. Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, the event organizer, anticipates more than 150 exhibitors and approximately 8,000 trade and official visitors — mainly maritime executives from Vietnam and neighboring countries interested in purchasing products and services. In conjunction with the trade exhibition, the conference on November 26 will feature international and Vietnamese experts reporting on all facets of Vietnamese port expansion. VIET PORTEX '96 is supported by the Vietnamese Sea Ports Association and Vietnam National Maritime Bureau (VINAMARINE).

To make doing business easier and more productive for U.S. companies, space within a specially priced U.S. Pavilion is reportedly available, and the reservation deadline is August 30, 1996. Right now, as Vietnam aggressively implements its "Doi Moi" economic strategy, there is market demand for U.S. expertise and products related to port development and operations, inland waterways construction, shipbuilding and repairs, and maritime transportation technology, according to Tom Harrelson, director of Marketing for the U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd).

"In fact, there is approximately $300 billion worth of funded projects in the planning and implementation stages right now, to prepare Vietnam's port and water transportation infrastructure for an expanded role in the country's economic development," said Mary Colburn- Green, U.S. representative for Hamburg Messe. She added that U.S. manufacturers and consultants in areas related to ports, waterways, shipbuilding and offshore technology will find this exhibition a short-cut to doing business in Vietnam. Ms. Colburn-Green also emphasized that all the right people and agencies are supporting the show, which means that people who can authorize contracts will be in attendance. The U.S. industry sectors likely to profit from exhibiting include companies involved in: port construction; port, shipbuilding and repair equipment; port facilities; port administration, software and controls; port safety and security; transportation equipment, technology and freight handling containers and related equipment; waterway construction and dredging; engines and propulsion systems; pumps and compressors; cranes and dock equipment; fittings and auxiliary machinery; navigation systems and electronics; and oil drilling and offshore technology.

Exhibitors may expect the top government officials and representatives of agencies involved with ports, shipping and waterways to attend the show, since they are anxious to find the products and services they need to fuel this massive expansion. "When you contrast this direct business approach to sales (where all the interested parties come together in a concentrated marketplace), with the slow and often bureaucratic process of pursuing the right channels without contacts, VIET PORTEX makes absolute sense where it counts — at the bottom line. That is why all of the U.S. exhibitors from VIET PORTEX '95 will be back," concluded Ms. Colburn- Green. According to Vince Almerico, senior vice president of Development at Trinity Marine Group, a U.S. exhibitor at VIET PORTEX '95, Trinity plans to exhibit again at the 1996 show. "I think it is important for Trinity Marine to be there to demonstrate our interest in doing business in Vietnam. We made some good contacts in 1995 with top-ranking Vietnamese officials, and the U.S. Embassy supported our involvement," he said.

Encouraged by early exhibitor renewals and active interest from new U.S. companies, the show organizer predicts a 50 percent increase in exhibitors and visitors. "I'm quite sure the U.S. Pavilion will help American companies stand out and attract positive attention. Our mission in creating this feature is to encourage U.S. companies to try this marketing venue. We're confident that once they come, they'll be back because of the lucrative return on their investment," said Mr. Diener. VIET PORTEX has the full cooperation of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam. To help U.S. companies participate in the U.S. Pavilion and make their exhibition space, shipping and travel arrangements, Hamburg Messe's U.S. office, located near Washington, D.C., is organizing the U.S. Pavilion, with space allocated on a first-come basis. U.S.

companies are urged to make their arrangements without delay. For more information, contact Mary Colburn-Green, U.S. representative at (304) 263-7342, or fax a request for information to (304) 263-7414.

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