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US Ex-Im Bank chairman Philip Merrill has met with a broad range of government officials and business leaders in Vietnam during a visit to Hanoi to promote trade ties between the two nations.

“Exports mean more business for companies and better lives for people on both sides of any transaction,” Merrill said. “It is clearly in both Vietnam’s and America’s interest to increase bilateral trade. We’re here to find out how we can be helpful.”

Merrill met with senior government leaders and also addressed a luncheon meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam and a dinner meeting of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In his remarks, Merrill noted that Ex-Im is providing Vietnam Airlines (VNA) with a long-term loan guarantee to support the airline’s purchase of four Boeing 777-200ER commercial aircraft. Two of the aircraft already have been delivered, and two more will be delivered in 2004. This deal was one of 16 that won the accolade of “Best Deal of 2003” in GTR’s Jan/Feb 2004 issue.

US Ex-Im is open in Vietnam to do business with the private sector for short and medium-term transactions, and with the public sector for short, medium and long-term transactions.