US and Vietnam make deals on AI chips and tech worth billions

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The United States and Vietnam formed business deals and partnerships worth billions of dollars to advance cooperation in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and others, according to remarks from a joint press conference on Sept. 11.

U.S. President Joe Biden said the move is a formal “upgrading” of the relationship between the two countries and highlights critical sectors, including cloud computing, semiconductors and AI.

“We’re deepening our cooperation on critical and emerging technologies, particularly around building a more resilient semiconductor supply chain.”

He continued by saying he expects the economic partnership to “spur” more trade and investment between the nations. However, he did not fail to mention that the move is “not about containing China,” but rather about having a “stable base” in the region.

Heads of major companies in the space, such as Google, Intel, Boeing, Amkor, Microsoft and Nvidia, were also in attendance.

This is in addition to other deals struck by Boeing and another by Amkor, which plans to open a new factory near the Vietnamese capital city of Hanoi. Beginning in October of this year, it will assemble, package and test AI chips, according to a statement from the White House.

Related: Tencent unveils ChatGPT rival in China amid continuing US AI chip ban

According to data from Acclime, a regional corporate services provider in Asia, Vietnam is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, ranking 34th worldwide with a gross domestic product of $450 billion.

It has also recently shifted from centralized economic control to being more open, which has allowed the U.S. to become one of its largest export markets.

This recent AI-focused deal has reportedly raised the U.S. two levels in Vietnam’s bilateral hierarchy ties. In the past, this spot was occupied by China, Russia, India and South Korea.

Moreover, ties with the U.S. were previously stifled due to not wanting to upset China and a tumultuous relationship due to the war.

These developments out of Vietnam come as governments around the world vie to produce and deploy high-level AI systems, particularly between the U.S. and China.

In October 2022, the Biden administration issued an export ban to China on the latest, most powerful semiconductor chips coming from the U.S., which they are considering tightening.

China’s new AI regulation was set in August. After the new laws went into effect, over 70 AI models have been released with over a billion parameters.

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