From December 14 to 23, 2008, VNF organized a study tour to Vietnam for MBA students from the Stanford Graduate School of Business led by Professor David Brady. The study tour featured a new course offered by the Stanford MBA program, which encourages students to learn about a country in which they had not previously visited for more than 60 days.
With VNF’s planning, the Stanford delegation had a chance to visit and work with a variety of individuals and organizations. In Ho Chi Minh City, the delegation took part in a discussion about “Vietnam’s Economy” with the U.S. Consulate General, Ken Fairfax, and leaders of VinaCapital Group. The group’s activities went beyond theoretical lessons when the delegation had a chance to see a local manufacturing system at Phong Phu Garment and Textile Company, which exports a variety of products to the U.S. market. The group visited several factories in the Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone, the first processing zone in Vietnam. The group also visited Phu My Hung Township to explore a growing real estate market in Ho Chi Minh City. The VNF also arranged meetings with other international corporations including Intel Vietnam, Unilever, and Mobivi.
In Hanoi, with the objective of studying outstanding aspects of Vietnam’s economy and investment opportunities, the group met with management leaders at the Asian Development Bank, the Ford Foundation, IDG Ventures, and PeaceSoft Solution. In addition, the VNF made arrangements for the group to participate in social activities such as visiting Friendship Village (home to orange agent victims), visiting Xuan Son primary school in Quang Ninh province, and meeting with local MBA students to exchange cultural, educational and business opportunities. These activities helped to build friendships and partnerships in a warm cordial atmosphere. During the trip, the group had the honor of welcoming U.S. Ambassador Michael W. Michalak for a dinner event.
Based on the success of the trip, the VNF took steps to make Vietnam as an annual destination for the program, which helped build and strengthen the relationship between Stanford University and corporations and institutions in Vietnam.