Governor Brown signs historic Vietnam agreement forged by PSU
Author: Christina Williams
Posted: November 5, 2015

Closer ties between Oregon and Vietnam, developed under the leadership of the Portland State University (PSU) Center for Public Service, led to a signing ceremony in Hanoi last month. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Director General of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Ba Hung signed a letter of intent to further strengthen relations between Vietnam and Oregon. 

The letter calls for “government-to-government, business-to-business, and academic-to-academic” cooperation and dialogue on topics including business, agriculture, urban planning, tourism, and the environment. 

The signing ceremony was the culmination of years of diplomacy and cooperation fostered by the Vietnam-Oregon Initiative, which is based in the PSU Hatfield School of Government and chaired by Phil Keisling, director of the Center for Public Service (CPS). 

“This is a historic moment for Oregon and for Portland State University, which has been forging ever closer ties with partners in Vietnam for the last decade,” said Keisling, Oregon’s former Oregon Secretary of State who began as CPS Director in 2010. “The collaborative network created by the Vietnam-Oregon Initiative is strong and growing stronger. The formalization of relations between Oregon and Vietnam will provide a mutual benefit that will last for years into the future.” 

The letter of intent was signed by Gov. Brown on Oct. 19 during a trade mission to Japan, China, and Vietnam that was largely focused on promoting Oregon’s produce, educational opportunities, and cleantech industries. 

“I am here because I want to spread the word in Vietnam of what a wonderful place Oregon is to live, work, study, and build lasting partnerships. Whether it is business, education, or culture, we can do great work together,” Gov. Brown said during remarks at a Hanoi reception. “I believe Oregon and Vietnam have much to offer each other—we are communities linked with shared economic goals and cultural values.” 

Gov. Brown is the first sitting Oregon governor to visit Vietnam. 

The Vietnam-Oregon Initiative is supported by funding from the PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions