Mekong Memo Vietnam 20230914
Mekong Memo Vietnam Weekly, September 14, 2023: Business, politics, finance, trade & legal news.
We monitor and filter the very best and most insightful business stories from Southeast Asia directly to your inbox every week.
By reviewing a wide variety of media including legal, financial and other relevant industries along with government and NGO sources, we are able to sift through the noise and bring you only what we believe to be relevant to an informed observer of Vietnam business news.
The Memo is published weekdays - Cambodia (every Monday), Myanmar (Tuesday), Laos (Wednesday), Vietnam (Thursday) and Thailand (Friday). The Thailand edition is free in its entirety; the others are headlines-only for non-paid subscribers.
Please navigate to https://www.mekongmemo.com/account and turn on/ off whichever editions you would like to receive.
This week’s Mekong Memo is brought to you by one of my favorite tools right now: AudioPen.
AudioPen is a voice note recorder that I use in my browser and on my phone to turn my thoughts into clear text. It’s free to use, but I’ve paid for a lifetime subscription so I can upload audio files, write in my own style, and record voice notes up to 15 minutes long. The most useful and surprising thing I’ve been using AudioPen for is to record stories from the past while I am driving so that I can organize them later and share with my children. AudioPen does an amazing job of cleaning up my sometimes confused, long winded recollections and summarizes the most important points.
We’ve recommended AudioPen here before, but you need to take action NOW because the $150 AudioPen Prime Lifetime deal will be available for purchase only until September 26 (that's when the product turns 6 months old). After that, only an annual recurring subscription will be available (currently $75).
Remember, AudioPen does not just transcribe your voice notes, but much more importantly, it almost magically summarizes unstructured voice notes into text that's easy to read and ready to share. I promise that you'll love Audio Pen. It's like having a personal assistant who records, organizes and summarizes your thoughts. Get it here:
With that said, here is your Mekong Memo Vietnam for the week of September 14, 2023:
The big story this week of course is the US President’s recent visit to Vietnam. There were hundreds of articles written before, during and after the trip, but we thought it would be interesting to focus the post-trip summary on three slightly different source perspectives. We think we captured the subtle differences in perspective, but only time will tell what the impact of the visit will be on the country in the long term:
Biden’s visit: A Western View
Relations Reach New Heights Amid Geopolitical Tensions
President Joe Biden's visit to Vietnam has elevated the U.S.-Vietnam relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership, signaling a significant shift in diplomatic ties. The President was at pains to emphasize that the visit aims to diversify the U.S. supply chain and build a stable base in the region, rather than with the objective of containing China. Both countries are focusing on technological cooperation, including semiconductors and artificial intelligence. Despite the geopolitical implications, Vietnam maintains a balanced approach, not aligning exclusively with either the U.S. or China.
Biden’s Visit: A Chinese View
A Symbolic Gesture with Limited Impact on China-Vietnam Relations
President Biden's recent visit to Vietnam aimed to elevate U.S.-Vietnam relations and counter China's influence. However, experts argue that the visit serves mostly as a symbolic gesture with limited outcomes. While Biden secured deals on semiconductors and minerals, the visit is unlikely to significantly alter Vietnam's existing close ties with China, particularly in supply chains. The U.S. is also seen as trying to drive a wedge between China and its neighbors, but Vietnam is cautious not to jeopardize its relations with China. A spokeswoman of China’s Foreign Ministry also claimed that the US was playing “zero-sum” games and holding a “Cold War” mentality when dealing with other Asian countries.
Biden’s Visit: A Vietnamese View
New Opportunities on the Horizon
President Biden's visit to Vietnam has culminated in a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, focusing on investment, innovation, and high-tech cooperation. Both nations aim to strengthen economic, trade, and investment ties, with a focus on science and technology. Vietnam sees the U.S. as a partner of strategic importance, and both countries are committed to peace, cooperation, and sustainable development. The partnership is expected to open new avenues for collaboration in areas like artificial intelligence, telecommunications, and green economy.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The Mekong Memo to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.