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Wednesday, December 20, 2006


If without objective.
If dare not take risk.
If only for money.
If without ambition.

leave with honour.
leave with dignity.
leave with success.
leave with respect.

Friday, December 08, 2006

where have all the foreign investor go???

A PAIR of pajamas tailored with embroidery and delivered to your hotel in three hours.
And that for an order that was put in long after the work day was over.
A business suit and two men’s shirts, tailored overnight for just US$120 (RM444) including the fabric, and ladies’ dresses and outfits with the latest designs made in a matter of hours and with alterations if needed.
The service is unparalleled and all done with a smile and no complaints. No, this is not fiction. No, it is not Thailand, which promotes itself as the "land of smiles", where numerous tailors will stitch your "designer suits" for a higher price.

This is Vietnam, the new emerging economy with the second fastest gross domestic product growth in the region last year.The vibrancy in Vietnam is hard to miss even as the country exudes old world charm. There is nothing that the Vietnamese will not do.
The shopkeepers are prepared to keep their shops open long after closing hours to cater to the needs of their customers. They will deliver the newly stitched suits and dresses to the customer at their hotels at the appointed hour and at no additional charge."I will sleep when I have no work," a shopkeeper declared. She, together with her brothers, sew and deliver suits overnight to their foreign customers.The Vietnamese are very trusting and will even allow you to take your purchases with you even if you have not paid for them yet — they place their trust in you and believe that you will definitely pay them when you next see them or if and when you pick up your new suit.The taxi driver is prepared not to take the one-way fare when you reach your destination and takes your word that you will be making the return journey very shortly. He waits but you could have taken another taxi on the return journey and not pay him. But that is something that he does not even consider. He trusts you. This will certainly not happen in Malaysia where daily, stories are related of how passengers are being cheated and overcharged by taxi drivers.Vietnam is on a roll. This is the same Vietnam which a former diplomat described as "hell on earth" during his tour of duty soon after the war. There was nothing available and diplomats had to make regular trips to Bangkok to stock up on food and necessities. There were still landmines and infrastructure was non-existent, having been bombed and destroyed by the Americans.Today, it is a totally different place. Foreign direct investments are pouring in and, with Vietnam’s membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), there is increased confidence about the country’s future as a business destination. It hosted one of the biggest international gatherings of leaders since the end of the war last month and rolled out the red carpet for 20 Apec leaders. And they came away impressed.Besides the two main cities – Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City – Vietnam offers the visitor some 2,000km of beaches that front the South China Sea. Five-star hotels, with unrivalled service to go along with the world-class facilities, are attracting an increasing number of visitors. Hoi An, along the coast, on a typical day is crowded with tourists from the US and France — its former adversary and former colonial master, respectively.Understandably, big international corporations are keen to cash in on Vietnam’s growth. Intel Corp, the California-based company, last month announced investments of US$1 billion in a chip plant in Ho Chi Minh City. This assembly and test facility puts the Vietnamese plant on par with Intel investments in China, Malaysia and the Philippines.According to reports, Intel’s move to set up its latest facility in Vietnam could be the tipping point for more businesses to set up base in the former socialist country. Indeed US companies signed deals worth some US$2 billion to build infrastructure, including power plants, to feed the businesses.The 20th anniversary of Vietnam’s doi moi or economic reform programme sees the country more confident and ready to claim its share of global foreign direct investments. According to Unctad’s latest World Investment Report, Vietnam was among the top 10 recipients of FDI inflows in 2004-2005.The emerging economy with its rapid economic growth and the newest member of the WTO is drawing in the entrepreneurs. It offers attractive tax breaks and with its rapid growth, low cost, young labour force and greater upside potential for consumer growth with rising incomes and prosperity, investors and entrepreneurs are knocking on its doors for a piece of the growing pie.The inflow of foreign funds coupled with the willingness of the people to work hard and government efforts to meet the needs of businessmen makes for a winning formula.Undoubtedly there are bottlenecks, including the poor infrastructure. But the plus point is that efforts are being focused on improving the links, including ports. The country is on track, according to the International Monetary Fund, to expand close to the official target of 8.2 per cent this year. With a population of 84 million and a rapidly growing consumer market, it is already the fastest growing market in the world for US-made goods.And very soon, it will not just be embroidered pajamas, tailored suits and dresses that will be made to order in Vietnam but other high-end products that the world’s more sophisticated consumers in the developed countries demand.It is set to give other countries in the region, including Malaysia, a good run and compete for an ever increasing share of FDI inflows.
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