Fred Hochberg, Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), is leading a business-development mission in Vietnam from Feb. 5-8.

The visit aims to boost commercial ties and business opportunities between the US and Vietnam with focus on promoting the closure of nearly 1.5 billion USD in critical infrastructure projects in Vietnam .

In 2011, Ex-Im Bank authorised only about 1 billion USD in financing to Vietnam . However, nearly 1.5 billion USD in critical infrastructure projects are currently in discussion, covering transport, thermal power and renewable energy projects.

This financing is the fulfillment of the two existing memoranda of understanding totaling 1.5 billion USD between Ex-Im Bank and the Vietnam Development Bank in 2010 and between the US bank and Vietnam ’s Ministry of Industry and Trade in 2011.

“ Vietnam is a country of enormous potential, and it is vital that we work together and invest in projects that benefit both of our economies,” said Fred Hochberg at a press briefing in HCM City on Feb. 6.

“Significant infrastructure developments are planned throughout Vietnam over the next several years, and I’m here to ensure that American companies invest in those projects, and that we maintain a dynamic and comprehensive partnership,” he added.

Asia is Ex-Im’s largest regional market, accounting for nearly a quarter of the bank’s portfolio. Last year, Ex-Im Bank provided approximately 7 billion USD in financing in the region.

Vietnam , together with Brazil , Colombia , Mexico , Turkey , South Africa , Nigeria , India and Indonesia , forms the nine key markets where Ex-Im Bank is focusing its business-development efforts because of the country’s infrastructure and development needs.

Ex-Im Bank’s current exposure to Vietnam stands at 175.8 million USD.

During his stay in Vietnam , Hochberg is scheduled to meet with governmental leaders and Vietnamese and international trade partners./.