USTDA Acting Director Travels to Asia-Pacific to Enhance Cooperation

Arlington, VA – Today, the Acting Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, Thomas R. Hardy, concluded a three-country visit to the Asia-Pacific region. The visit provided an opportunity to sign a new agreement designed to position U.S. companies to successfully compete for public sector tenders based not on least cost, but on the quality and lifetime value of their product. The visit also allowed Acting Director Hardy to visit with past and current partners to discuss the impact the Agency is having on economic growth in the region.

While in Tokyo, USTDA and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) signed an agreement to support quality infrastructure development throughout the Indo-Pacific region. The agreement builds upon the commitment made in February 2017 by President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to deepen the strong economic ties between the two countries, and it also advances the Japan-United States Strategic Energy Partnership announced during the recently concluded State Visit to Japan by President Trump. By aligning efforts under USTDA’s Global Procurement Initiative: Understanding Best Value (GPI) with Japan’s Partnership for Quality Infrastructure (PQI), the U.S. and Japan are seeking to help countries throughout the region better understand the lifetime costs of their infrastructure investments to ensure countries are receiving the best value for their investment.

In Vietnam, Acting Director Hardy met with past and current partners, including a tour of Da Nang International Airport to see firsthand the impact of USTDA’s program, which was instrumental in the design and development of the new airport terminal. During the tour, the Airports Corporation of Vietnam highlighted the U.S.-manufactured goods and services utilized during construction but also noted the important role Louis Berger (Morristown, NJ) played in designing and constructing the terminal. In addition, the visit to Vietnam provided the opportunity to meet with the American Chamber of Commerce and its membership to identify new opportunities for USTDA’s program to advance our countries’ bilateral economic relationship. The companies spoke frequently about the success and impact of USTDA’s program on the country, which provided a platform to consider future areas of cooperation. The visit to Vietnam concluded with Acting Director Hardy joining the State Dinner hosted by President Tran Dai Quang in honor of the visit of President Trump.

Acting Director Hardy concluded the visit to Asia by participating in the opening program for the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Manila. During the panel entitled, “ASEAN Build, Build, Build: Building for the Future,” he highlighted the strength and breadth of USTDA’s program throughout the region, which is based on strong partners wanting to engage and learn from leading U.S. companies in the energy, transportation and ICT sectors. A common theme highlighted by several panelists was the need for investment in quality infrastructure to advance the economic goals of the region.

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