The Citi Series on Asian Business Leaders
NEW YORK - Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc led a delegation of Vietnamese government officials and businessmen to the Asia Society for a forum looking at current investment conditions in Vietnam.
Minister Phuc began the proceedings with an introductory speech looking at Vietnam’s efforts to encourage FDI (foreign direct investment). An intended 15-minute Q&A session quickly extended beyond 30 minutes, sparked by insightful audience questions and in-depth, frank answers from Minister Phuc.
No topic was taboo as Minister Phuc described, among other topics, how Vietnam is taking advantage of increasing costs in China, how US policy has affected Vietnam’s ability to transform itself over the past 30 years, and how Vietnam is attempting to avoid the environmental degradation that has arisen in other quickly developing countries.
Following Minister Phuc’s speech, a panel discussed investing in Vietnam through a conversation between foreign investors and government officials. Through the course of an engaging conversation, the panel explored the qualities that make investments in Vietnam attractive, how the rule of law is developing, and why the US ranks only sixth or seventh in FDI volume into Vietnam.
One takeaway moment from the discussion came in response to an audience question, when Virginia Foote, president of Vietnam Partners, and Myron Brilliant, vice president for Asia at the US Chamber, assessed the development of the rule of law in Vietnam, particularly as it applies to protecting investor interests. Ms. Foote noted that while the legal framework exists for issues like intellectual property rights, at present penalties remain too superficial to serve as real deterrents.
Excerpt: Vietnam's Evolving Legal Framework (3 min., 27 sec.)
Listen to the entire program (1 hr., 17 min.) Note: may require additional volume