The Preparatory Trip 2018 - Last stop in Vietnam!

The last stop brought exploreASEAN’s project team to Ho Chi Minh City. The city of former Saigon is a metropolitan area with the most inhabitants in Vietnam. With the country’s long and impressive history, the project team had plenty to discover and interesting people to meet.

On their first day in Ho Chi Minh City, the project members had the opportunity to meet Mr Othmar Hardegger, Consul General of Switzerland in Vietnam. Mr Hardegger supported exploreASEAN already during the last two years. Meeting Mr Hardegger was very enriching for the project team. He shared important information about the relationship between Switzerland and Vietnam, his experience in doing business in Vietnam and provided valuable inputs for our upcoming Workshop during the onsite Seminar.

On the same day, Kaltrina and Caroline could meet Mr Beat Schürch, CEO of the Dragon Capital Group. He could give some profound insights into the financial market in Southeast Asia, but also share his experience of living for more than 20 years in Vietnam. Moreover, we could improve our understanding of Vietnamese business culture.

Later that day, the project team could meet Mr Martial Garniere. He is a young entrepreneur and business developer, who is located in Vietnam since 2012 and founder of the first co-working space in Ho Chi Minh City. He showed the project team the office and explained how he can achieve his goal by connecting other entrepreneurs with the tech community and inspiring them to execute their ideas and business models. Mr Martial Garniere gave the project team some new and fascinating insights into the world of young entrepreneurs as well as the challenges and opportunity that come with the age of digitalisation. Stay tuned to hear more about the collaboration between Mr Garniere and exploreASEAN on our onsite trip!

On the next day in Ho Chi Minh City, the project team could meet Mr Philipp Nüesch, the Marketing and Sales Director Asia Pacific of Straumann and a committed supporter of our project. His knowledge about the ASEAN region as well as our project gave the meeting an interesting aspect, as he could give the project team some new understandings how important our theme “Technopreneurship for the ASEAN region is.  

 On this afternoon, the project team went to the production facilities of Jakob Saigon, which is the project’s silver partner of 2018. The company is a manufacturer and supplier of architectural ropes of stainless steel with outstanding expertise in its products fabrication technique. The last year’s delegation could already visit Jakob Saigon LTD and we are grateful to collaborate again on the onsite seminar with our silver partner.  

At the company’s facilities in Ho Chi Minh City, Mr Loi Tran Ngoc warmly welcomed the project team. With his extensive experience of more than 10 years in collaborating with Swiss people, Mr Loi could explain the project team some major differences in culture and mentality between the nations, but also show us how a beneficial relationship can be established. Mr Loi also showed the production facilities to Kaltrina and Caroline, which gave them a deeper understanding of the Jakob’s core business. 

On their last night in Ho Chi Minh City, the project team enjoyed a unique dinner. KOTO stands for know one, teach one” and is a foundation and restaurant in Vietnam with the purpose of giving at-risk and disadvantaged youth a new start into their life. The non-profit social enterprise is located in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and will be part of this years’ edition of  exploreASEAN. The project team is very excited about this collaboration and is looking forward to learn more about the institution in Hanoi on their onsite-seminar. 

The last ten days allowed the project team to gain some deeper understanding about the ASEAN region, with its challenges and potentials. But mostly, it made the team even more eager to learn, see the region and meet their interesting people. The preparatory trip was a marvellous experience and success. The project team is looking forward to share all this with our delegation in spring. 


For further impressions of the preparatory trip, visit the media gallery on the website! 

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