Bozeman, Montana to Danang, Vietnam – My Final Days

Danang, Vietnam, Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Danang Branch

On Wednesday, March 7 Trang and I visited with Troung Thi Kim Anh, Deputy Director, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Danang Branch and Tran Ky Nam, Specialist, International Relations Department of the VCCI Danang Branch.  This visit was in addition to the meeting conducted last week in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) with VCCI – HCMC with Director Nguyen Duc Binh, Nguyen Ngoc Diep of the SMES Promotion Center and SMES Promotion Center Development Officer Trinh Thu An.

viber image

The VCCI (http://e.vcci.com.vn/) consists of one primary headquarters in Hanoi with eleven branches spread across Vietnam with over one thousand private business members, including large State-owned organizations, small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and one and two person businesses and entrepreneurs.  Additionally, the VCCI works closely with the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, called the AmCham (http://www.amchamvietnam.com/), to further business relationships between the US and Vietnam.

Deputy Director Troung described the VCCI role on focusing on promoting trade and investment relations between local and international businesses through seminars, conferences, and training courses to share information and knowledge between its members and other organizations.  The VCCI also assists businesses with processing the paperwork and certifications for the import and export of goods to and from Vietnam.  The local VCCI can also assist Vietnamese businesses with Foreign Direct Investment, or FDI.

VCCI also spends a great deal of time collecting data and feedback from its membership across Vietnam to provide ideas, suggestions, and proposals to the Vietnamese Central Government and the Prime Minister.

A few of the challenges identified by Deputy Director Troung include the need for improved tourism infrastructure, including areas to expand accommodations and transportation, lack of land for expansion and development and language training for the tourism professionals.  New infrastructure investments include, eventually relocating and expanding the Danang International Airport, completion of a metro transportation system and other transportation improvements and upgraded seaport facilities for both tourism and trade.

Some of the primary Vietnamese exports include:

  • Seafood products;
  • Garments and textiles;
  • Furniture;
  • Construction materials;
  • Handicrafts; and
  • Bamboo and rattan products.

Most of these goods are exported to the U.S. and European markets.  In addition to the growing export markets, Deputy Director Troung sees the tourist market continuing to expand rapidly.  Tourism is a very familiar industry in Montana and Bozeman at least since the founding of the world’s first national park, Yellowstone National Park, in 1872 (https://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm).  I suggested that we could connect our Department of Tourism with theirs for continued discussions (http://marketmt.com/).

Deputy Director Troung is interested in more information on how Montana, Bozeman, and Montana State University supports the start-up and entrepreneurial ecosystem at the state and local level.  Organizations and agencies like the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (http://business.mt.gov/, City of Bozeman’s Department of Economic Development (https://www.bozeman.net/government/economic-development), and at Montana State University the office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (http://www.montana.edu/research/), the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship (http://www.montana.edu/business/index.html) and the Blackstone LaunchPad (http://www.montana.edu/launchpad/), along with our partners at the Prospera Business Network (https://www.prosperabusinessnetwork.org/), Montana Department of Commerce (http://commerce.mt.gov/, the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce (https://www.bozemanchamber.com/, the Northern Rocky Mountain Economic Development District (http://nrmedd.org/) all work together to facilitate and incentivize innovation, job creation and economic diversity at the state and local levels.

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Danang, Vietnam, Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The University of Danang, University of Economics

Danang Uni of Econ

On the afternoon of March 7, 2018, Trang and I visited with Dr. Nguyen Phuc Nguyen, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Head of Research and International Cooperation Department, University of Danang, University of Economics (http://due.udn.vn/en-us/home).  The vision for the University of Economics is that of a leading research university in Vietnam, significantly contributing to the prosperity of ASEAN community and human knowledge. Their mission as a research-oriented university is to create an innovative academic environment to accelerate knowledge discovery, application, transfer of scientific knowledge of economics and management; ensure successful foundation and lifelong learning capacity for learners; nurture and develop talents; tackle the socio-economic challenges; serve the prosperous development of the community.  Their values include Integrity, Creativity, Co-operation, Sympathy, Usefulness, and Respect for the Individuals.

DUE 2

Dr. Nguyen informed me about the desire to evolve the University of Economics from what has been a focus on teacher training to more of a research institution.  I informed Dr. Nguyen about Montana State University’s status as a top-ranked research institution with over USD 100M in research activity.  In addition to conducting and publishing more peer-reviewed research, the University of Economics is slated to become one of only three universities in Vietnam classified as national universities.  The others are currently operating in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Currently, the University of Economics is partnered with several US universities including the City University of Seattle, Towson University, Keuka College, the University of Akron and Ball State University.  Dr. Nguyen is open to the idea of potentially creating a new partnership with Montana State University.  In particular, Dr. Nguyen sees opportunities in the following areas:

  • Internships;
  • Joint research;
  • International conference participation
    • June 2018 – Accounting and Finance Conference, Danang, Vietnam
    • October 2018 – Marketing Conference, Danang, Vietnam; and
  • Data and knowledge sharing.

Additional areas of potential collaboration include partnerships with the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, the Blackstone Launchpad, Code MT and Danang Innovation Hub and the FabLab described in an earlier post (https://www.facebook.com/fablabdanang/).  Dr. Nguyen is very interested in the intersection of innovation/technology and business.  I intend to communicate these areas of interest to the Montana State University leadership.

DUE3

Following my last meetings in Danang, I took a few days to travel to the ancient trading port city of Hoi An, now a UNESCO world heritage site.  It was the perfect place to relax after a busy week of meetings and engagements in the frenetic and fast-paced Danang.  You can read more about the remarkable history of this wonderful city here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%E1%BB%99i_An . Below are just a few photos from my last days in Vietnam.  

Bamboo Bike – Hoi An, Vietnam

 bamboo bike hoi an

Japanese Bridge, Hoi An, Vietnam

 bridge hoi an

Hoi An is famous for colorful lanterns.  Hoi An, Vietnam

lanterns hoi an

How far will I go? Hoi An, Vietnam

 how far hoi an.jpg

In the next day or two, as I make my way back to Bozeman, I will write one final post to summarize this wonderful and productive experience.

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