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image: CBE

image: CBE

Getting Vietnamese business savvy

17 May 2019

4 minute read

Global Business Immersion (GBI) is an enriching in-country immersion program offered by the ANU College of Business and Economics (CBE). It allows students to fully “immerse” themselves in the culture of a specific country and gain further understanding of how the country's environment influences the way that business is conducted. Last month, several CBE students visited major cities and corporations in Vietnam to learn more about the ASEAN country’s methods and culture of doing business.

A Reflection on Vietnamese Culture by Catherine Risbey

Gbi Vietnam 2

Photo: Catherine Risbey

The GBI study tour to Vietnam tour was a deeply engaging and enlightening experience. I, like many others on the trip, had never been to Vietnam before so this program was the perfect opportunity to learn more about Vietnam from hands-on experiences.

Our itinerary started up in the north in of the country in Ha Noi, then took us central to Hoi An, and finally ended in the famous southern city of Ho Chi Minh.

Any internet search about Vietnam will not tell you about how industrious most Vietnamese are. This was evident in our experience at the host Universities - National Economics University and University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City – but also by interacting with the student ambassadors and locals. Through those interaction we learnt about the country’s economic recovery and growth.

Vietnam has an incredible incredibly strong sense of national pride and identity, which has been shaped by a history of hardship. Nevertheless, on top of this, lies a sense of pragmatism and optimism for the future.

For me, the country exhibits a unique quality. Its ability, as an entire country, to say where we are now, and where do we want to be, without dwelling upon the past. This is both an inspiring and formidable strength that ensures a bright future for Vietnam.

A reflection on the corporate visits by Petal Minyue Wang

Gbi Vietnam 1

Photo: Petal Minyue Wang

Apart from the amazing cultural experience and informative academic lectures, the GBI study tour in to Vietnam provided us with in-depth insights into Vietnamese industries. In addition to hearing from Australian diplomats, we visited various corporations ranging from Habecco Beverage factory where they produce the famous Hanoi Beer to Amaccao – a conglomerate operating across manufacturing and service sectors.

Our visits also included trips to AS White Global – an offshoring service provider, the Yakult factory - a leading drinks company, and Coteccons – the Vietnam’s largest construction company, and many more ofother such enterprises.

Throughout our time in Vietnam, I was amazed by the diverse and high-quality questions asked by my peers. All academic and site visits sessions were extremely helpful in developing my own knowledge and deepening my impression of the Vietnamese business culture. 

Although the corporations were significantly different from one another, each one of them, however, had provided us with a unique learning experience. It gave us the opportunity to learn the differences between Vietnamese and Australian companies, as well as insights into how Australian companies would enter the Vietnamese market with the right balance of resource investments.

Reflections from the academics

According to Dr Andrew Bradly and Associate Professor Vinh Lu, the co-tour leaders of the recent GBI study tour, the program offered several unique benefits. Across four different Vietnamese cities, students learnt a great deal through their exposure to the diversity in of business practices, economic landscapes, entrepreneurship, and socio-cultural environments,  – learning which that cannot be fully covered appreciated in a normal classroom setting.

“We thank the representatives from Coteccons and KOTO Foundation (our mobility partners), AusCham Vietnam, the Australian Embassy and the Australian Consulate General. All of them went far above and beyond to provide our students with deep insights into a range of successful business and enterprise models in Vietnam. And the corresponding opportunities and challenges associated with Vietnam as a fast growing market and a country with rich history”, said associate professor Lu.

Academics from National Economics University and University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City provided the group with basic Vietnamese language training and multiple seminars on the economy, foreign direct investment, business entrepreneurship, and consumer behaviours.

Another highlight from the program was a visit to a family in the Mekong delta, where students learned about the resilience of the Vietnamese people during the war, the value of education, and how infrastructure development had improved their daily lives.

“I am particularly proud of the how capably our students’ willingness to engage with industry leaders, diplomats, and foreign faculty in Vietnam.And of how well they handled vast amounts of new information with great curiosity and motivation to learn," Dr Bradly had reflected. 

The ANU College of Business and Economics is grateful to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the scholarship opportunities provided to students under the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program.

To learn more about the upcoming GBI tours click here

Updated:   11 February 2020 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team