Gov. Jim Justice and other West Virginia officials hosted cabinet dignitaries from the nation of Vietnam for a virtual ceremony Wednesday evening, during which leaders of both governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will bolster economic relations between West Virginia and Vietnam into the future.
“This is truly a historical moment,” Gov. Justice said. “International trade – working together with one another – is so important to West Virginia.”
The MOU was signed by Gov. Justice and Vietnam Vice Minister of Industry and Trade, Do Thang Hai, in witness of Vietnam Minister of Industry and Trade, Tran Tuan Anh.
Several other dignitaries from Vietnam and West Virginia also attended the virtual ceremony, including West Virginia Department of Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch and United States Congresswoman Carol Miller (WV-03).
“Congresswoman Miller has been the catalyst for West Virginia in introducing us to our new friends in Vietnam and making this opportunity possible,” Sec. Gaunch said.
“I am so glad that we could come together virtually to sign this historic trade and investment Memorandum of Understanding between West Virginia and Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry,” Congresswoman Miller said. “Since coming to Congress, one of my main priorities has been advocating for our state’s abundant energy manufacturing and hardwood industries.”
In 2020, West Virginia exported over $20 million in products to Vietnam. Of that total, $14.8 million was in hardwood products.
“I know West Virginia stands ready to supply and export to Vietnam significant quantities of our abundant and high quality coal and natural gas, among other areas and industries. Our high quality thermal and metallurgical coal as well as our liquefied natural gas can and will keep the lights on in Vietnamese homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses for years to come,” Congresswoman Miller said.
“This memorandum is proof that when great people get their heads together and join forces, greatness can happen,” Gov. Justice said.