Closing workshop with honorable experts!

The exploreASEAN delegation with Mr Othmar Hardegger and Mr Beat Schürch

Ho Chi Minh City, Friday, 21 of April

It all began with Mr Othmar Hardegger, Consul General of Switzerland in Vietnam opening the workshop by briefly explaining the tasks of the Consulate General such as trade promotion and support for investors in Vietnam. What is more, Hardegger touched on some fact and figures about Vietnam, for instance, that the IT sector is the fastest growing industry and he believes that there are many more opportunities for companies in the other service sectors in the fields of Banking, Insurance, Education, Tourism and Consulting. It was also when, the explorer`s learnt that the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) is the most active university from Switzerland in Vietnam!

With the end of Mr Othmar Hardeggers`presentation, Tobias Märki introduced the roundtable discussion and our numerous high level speakers who actively participated and answered all questions from the explorers related to their field of expertise, Vietnam or Southeast Asia in general.

At table number one, Mr Philipp Nüesch from Straumanm and Mr Jorge Martin-Martinez from DKSH provided us with some insights concerning the challenges of doing business in Vietnam. Both company representatives see the infrastructure as a current issue in regard of transportation and supply chain. For Straumann for example, transportation is especially problematic because its products need to be delivered within 30 minutes from a warehouse to the patient in the dentistry!

After 20 minutes, the delegation rotated and joint the table where Ms Quynh Anh Nguyen from the SECO Entrepreneurial Program, Ms Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuong from Elca, Dr Truong Minh Chuong from HCM University of Technology and Mr Martin Werfeli from Ringier were awaiting. Here, it was elaborated on the requirements that are needed to overcome the issues of education in Vietnam. They believed that logical and independent thinking combined with good English skills serve as a solid base to start one’s careers path besides having a curriculum that is packed with the industry experience. 

After a short coffee and tea break, we moved on to the next table, where Mr Eric Olander from Ringier LABS and Mr Martial Ganière from Start Coworking Space & Community explained how the media and especially the digital media is used in Vietnam. For example, we learned that the Vietnamese population will rather search ones company showpage on Facebook instead of looking up the official company website on the “standard” search engines such as Google. “it is essential to promote one’s company also on Facebook in order to have a certain degree of presence in Vietnam!”, concluded Ganière.

At the last table, Mr Beat Schuerch from Dragon Capital and Mr Othmar Hardegger provided the delegation with essential knowledge of how networking in Vietnam is done. 

When time was up, Tobias Märki held a last speech thanking all experts for participating in the discussions and invited the whole project and communication team together with our supervisor Dr Teresa Freiburghaus to the front. Subsequently, gifts from Switzerland were handed over to the invited experts while our delegation was still eager to discuss and elaborate on many more questions. They received the opportunity at the joint lunch with the experts while enjoying delicious food prepared by the Continental Saigon Hotel.

On the following Saturday night, the exploreASEAN project flew back to Switzerland and returned with a tremendous amount of experiences, insights and pictures that were collected during our 17 days here in Southeast Asia. Discover what our delegation has learned and experienced with our onsite blog and don`t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn to learn more about exploreASEAN!

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