By Như Hoa & Hoài Nam
ĐÀ NẴNG — The 2017 APEC Summit is shining the spotlight on Việt Nam and highlights its economic development. It has also produced comments about simplifying the nation’s laws to encourage more business.
|In spotlight: VinaCapital CEO Don Lam says Việt Nam is in the spotlight. — VNS Photo Công Thành|
This is the opinion of VinaCapital CEO Don Lam. He was speaking to Việt Nam News on the sidelines of the APEC CEO Summit at Đà Nẵng’s Ariyana Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday.
“They (CEOs) give the Government a unique platform to meet a large number of international business leaders, and highlights how they foster sustainable growth through reforms," he said. "They broadly communicate the message that Việt Nam is ‘open for business’, thereby encouraging more foreign investment,” Lam said.
“The APEC Summit is a great way for us to build relationships that lead to further investment in Việt Nam. Additionally, when Việt Nam receives positive international attention that comes from events like these, we tend to see an increase in interest in products we offer investors,” he added.
“When I attended the first APEC Summit in Hà Nội in 2006, VinaCapital had US$50 million in assets under management, but today we manage well over $2 billion. Like Việt Nam, we’ve come a long way in a decade. We are proud to have long been the largest private investor in central Việt Nam, especially around Đà Nẵng and Hội An.
"Over the past decade, VinaCapital has co-operated with many international partners to invested about $5 billion across a range of projects, including the Hoiana integrated resort currently under construction."
|President and CEO of Vietnam Airlines, Dương Trí Thành. — VNS Photo Hoàng Như Hoa|
This year’s APEC CEO Summit is extremely important for Viet Nam, according to Dương Trí Thành, president and CEO of Vietnam Airlines.
“Foreign investors can hear about Việt Nam’s business environment, but when they arrive here they would have their own perspective,” Thành told Việt Nam News after being live-broadcasted by the Bloomberg on Thursday on the sidelines of the three-day summit, which will end on November 10.
“For a company, the CEO’s vision has a high significance. So, when they [CEOs] come here, they have a great chance to share their experiences, and review their visions and works,” Thành said.
With a plan to list shares on Hồ Chí Minh Stock Exchange next year, the national carrier expects a 10 per cent passenger growth in 2018 from 22 million this year. It is also considering a route to Los Angeles by late 2019 or early 2020.
“The Bloomberg’s interview focused on the connectivity and growth of Vietnam Airlines, through that bringing the latest information of the company to the foreign investors,” he said.
|Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan, Asia Pacific, Nicolas Aguzin. — VNS Photo Hoàng Như Hoa|
Nicolas Aguzin, chairman and CEO of JP Morgan, Asia Pacific, said he is optimistic about APEC and the future, saying that technology and automation is a big issue of this dynamic point in time when there are many issues related to trade, labour mobility, outsourcing, immigration, capital mobilisation, and the related issues.
“We have created a lot of efficiency, increased productivity, made things better, faster and cheaper. So we all need to be learning about what the different technologies can bring for our businesses,” Aguzin said.
He told Việt Nam News that technology and automation leave a lot of people without jobs and that needs to be managed carefully.
“There needs to be a lot of training, education, and creating the right environment so the supply and demand of labour can meet.
Regarding the banking sector, he said it was also affected by everything that is happening around technology.
“We have to prepare and we are investing a lot,” the CEO said.
|Trade reformer: CEO of FedEx Express, David L. Cunningham. — VNS Photo Công Thành|
Addressing the APEC CEO Summit, president and CEO of FedEx Express, David L.Cunningham said: “Expanding global trade is in the best interest of all APEC members, including the United States. The annual event is an opportunity to discuss trade reforms among 21 trading partners, most of whom are Asia’s fast-growing markets. Việt Nam is a prime example of the benefits of APEC’s vision of economic reform, open markets and regional integration. Experience shows that open markets are the best path to prosperity.
“What the fast-growing number of small and medium customers in the region need is simplified and efficient trade rules that support the digital online economy,” said Karen Reddington, president, Asia Pacific, FedEx Express.
“FedEx has long been a strong advocate for the lowering of trade barriers to make it easier for our customers to ship internationally. FedEx remains committed to the Asia Pacific region. We have been at the forefront of the extraordinary expansion of global access by helping businesses build stronger and more nimble supply chains."
|Local insight: CEO of Coca-Cola Việt Nam, Sanket Ray. — VNS Photo Công Thành|
During panel discussion on the topic of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), Start-ups and Innovation, CEO of Coca-Cola Việt Nam, Sanket Ray said the success of a company was reflected in the prosperity of the surrounding community. He said the soft-drink company was focused on developing sustainable business not just profits.
“The success of Coca-Cola’s global initiatives come from local market insights. We focus on creating ‘shared values’ in the three main pillars of our corporate sustainability strategy, which are water, women, and quality of life for the community. We are committed to long-term investment to make positive changes in the delivery of innovation transfer that fosters an effective value chain alliance and strong economic development in countries where Coca-Cola -Cola operates," Ray said.
|IT promoter: Kozaburo Yazawa, chairman of Japanese Digital Ship IT company. — VNS Photo Công Thành|
Kozaburo Yazawa, chairman of Japanese Digital Ship IT company and the owner of a Japanese restaurant in Đà Nẵng said: “The APEC Summit is a good chance for our company and other FDI companies in Đà Nẵng City. I am doing business with an information technology company, a restaurant company, a consulting company and a real-estate company. Most customers of IT businesses in Đà Nẵng are from Japan.
“In the restaurant business, tourists will be increasing in the future, so foreign tourists will increase more. Local customers will also use plenty of money for dining out as the economy improves, so this will also be positive. Relating to real estate, we are selling Đà Nẵng real estate to Japanese people. If Đà Nẵng becomes famous, it will be easier to sell more. Regarding consulting, APEC has a lot of great meaning for us in attracting more investment from Japan,” Yazawa said.
He said the world media would spread APEC Summit information to many people, and Đà Nẵng would be well-known throughout the world as a pleasant place to visit.
He suggested that APEC leaders should help Đà Nẵng become popular among investors.
“So, Việt Nam and Đà Nẵng City should explain investment concretely. Vietnamese laws have many parts that are not clear, and there are many difficulties for foreigners regarding licensing as well. I believe that if we have more improvement in such things as transportation, electricity and the internet and overseas transaction money are simplified, I think big investment will increase.” — VNS