As Prepared for Delivery
Thank you to Selex for hosting me today.
This facility – and the electric vehicles and batteries you produce – are tremendously impressive. It speaks to something that has struck me each time I’ve had the chance to visit Vietnam: The immense economic dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit of the Vietnamese people.
The origins of Selex also highlight the close ties between people in our two countries: Two of its founders pursued graduate education at the University of Michigan.
In fact, over 30,000 Vietnamese students are studying in the United States, constituting the fifth-largest group of foreign students in the United States.
In turn, the Vietnamese community has enriched the United States, with over two million Americans of Vietnamese descent playing important roles across our society.
I want to focus today on the importance of both of our countries working together to advance a global clean energy transition.
Climate change poses an existential threat to humanity, and we are increasingly seeing its impact on our countries and across the globe. But combatting it is also a key economic opportunity, and one of the primary ways we can build greater resilience into our economies against shocks that can cause tremendous disruption.
In the United States, President Biden and I have placed a clean energy transition at the center of our economic plan – including through the Inflation Reduction Act.
Since the President took office, we’ve seen $500 billion in manufacturing and clean energy investments in America. Battery plants and EV factories like this are sprouting across the United States. Those factories, in turn, are supporting good-paying jobs in many communities.
These investments will have positive global spillovers as new technology comes online, at cheaper prices, that can be adopted around the world.
But the United States is also taking action now in countries to partner and support clean energy transitions in other nations. This includes Vietnam.
America is proud to support the Just Energy Transition Partnership launched last year for Vietnam. Among our partners, we have committed to mobilizing over $15 billion to spur the adoption of renewable sources of energy.
We also are working to evolve the Multilateral Development Banks, or MDBs, to better address global challenges like climate change in a way that complements their core poverty reduction goals.
Since my call-to-action last October, we have made significant progress on this effort. We estimate that the MDBs as a system could unlock $200 billion in additional lending capacity over the next decade, just from measures already being implemented or under consideration.
Just as importantly, we are encouraging the MDBs to more actively partner with the private sector, as public capital alone will not be sufficient to meet the world’s needs for energy transition.
Selex itself received an equity investment from the Asian Development Bank. And the factory around us demonstrates the impact that these investments can have on both the economy and the environment.
It is our hope and desire to see this clean energy ecosystem grow and thrive, with resilient supply chains between the United States and reliable trading partners like Vietnam – a concept that I’ve described as ‘friendshoring’.
Here in Southeast Asia, we’re advancing these shared priorities through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, of which both the United States and Vietnam are members. One of its four pillars focuses on how we can work collaboratively to grow the green economy.
There is much work to do, but I am confident that we will be achieve our goals if we work together.
Thank you again for hosting me. I look forward to our conversation.