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Interview for a Documentary (Hanoi)

Dear friends,

I'm looking for interviewees for a documentary video about the emerging role of Vietnam in the global economy.

The interview question will be: "In your viewpoint, can Vietnamese firms move up in the value chain and play the role of creator?"

Since we would like to gain various perspectives from the expat community, who have been working here in NGO or capacity building projects, please let me know when you prefer to share your thoughts (preferably this week or early next week). My colleague and I will be very happy. :) Thank you very much!!!

* Background information*
Today companies such as Apple and Nestle are more powerful than nations and religions because they directly influence and affect how we interact and use resources. According to Bloomberg, 8 of the top 10 largest companies in the world by market value are based in the US and four are there because of technology or innovation. The sole Asian company in the list is in commodities, PetroChina. This is a clear indication that in a knowledge-based economy, the western companies, many of them American, are in a strong position to shape the direction of the new economy. As the combination of software, design and engineering continue to disrupt industries, more Asian companies need to go into this space.

Though many Asian companies excel at managing and delivery, they still lack the ability and openness to apply innovation in their proceses. The Singapore government understands this limitation among Singaporean companies and the latest programme that helps Singapore companies to reduce reliance on foreign workers is focused on productivity and not about inventing products and ideas for the future. Most of Singapore’s wealth comes in the form of providing services and support to the global economy. In comparison, a small state like Switzerland have more companies in innovation and design. Innovation is the only way to ensure economic security as we will be at the top end of the value chain, providing higher-paying jobs and attracting better talents.

Unfortunately, not many business leaders recognise that we will be out-innovated by the West. Innovation is not something that you can buy; it needs to be created and sustained by a culture which supports it. If we continue out-sourcing innovation to the West and remain as reliable contractors, the future is an Asia that is manufactured in the East but powered by Western software. Much like the iPhone.