Which are the biggest opportunities in Vietnam? We met Mrs. Elisabeth Hansa at the ICCA congress in Prague last November 2017 and questioned her about it. She worked in the meetings Industry for more than 30 years in senior positions, as CEO, Head of Marketing, head of business development and sales manager in various convention centres in Austria from very big to very small ones. It was a pleasant surprise to know that she is visiting professor at the Hanoi University. We ask her some questions about developing international cooperation, business and knowledge transfer in Vietnam.
Which matter did you teach in Hanoi and how often did you travel to Vietnam?
I have a strong knowledge base on the association world. I also was a board member of various professional associations in the meetings industry.
I taught Meetings Industry in various universities in Austria and now abroad also, among which Vietnam, at Hanoi University. It was my second stay in Vietnam this January 2018: I look forward to going back again next semester.
What are, in your opinion, the biggest opportunities in Vietnam?
Vietnam is a country that is currently booming in the field of tourism. This is one of the biggest opportunities in Vietnam. If used in a careful and professional way, tourism is certainly one of the business opportunities in the country. A second field is certainly the whole area of the food industry: in order to be successful, Vietnam will have to connect the research in this area with an increased focus on environmental sustainability. One further area could be technological innovation in its broadest sense and of course building and construction.
In my speciality – meetings and events – I see a big potential in this country: yet, it seems to me that there is a waste of resources since there is no structured marketing and business development so far. I strongly believe that Vietnam could play a much stronger role in this field.
What europeans should know at first to be succesful to cooperate with Vietnamese people?
Like everywhere also Vietnam has different ways to make business than in Europe and even there we have differences between countries. It seems to me that the political influence is stronger than in Europe and we have to be aware of this.
The second big issue is also the difference between mentality, language and behaviours in the north and the south of Vietnam. Third, I would say we, as Europeans, have to be aware that there is a young generation growing up that is eager to learn and wants to change things in their country that only opened its doors to the outside a few years ago.
How Vietnamese know about the impact of the events on developing knowledge, cooperation and business?
This is a good question: I think there is not enough information about this subject so far. Vietnamese scientists, economists, businessmen, politicians do not have enough information about the huge impact of meetings and events on the development of the country, the region and the city. This development is not only a big financial one, but also a scientific and economic one. It would create jobs and increase tax income. As said above, this is a big opportunity Vietnam has still to meet. This is also one of the biggest opportunities in Vietnam.