Connecting and contributing
33-year-old Dr. Le Duy Anh – Head of the Public Policy Department, Faculty of Development Economics from University of Economics and Business (Vietnam National University-Hanoi) – obtained his bachelor’s degree from Durham University and then both his master’s and doctorate degrees from Cambridge University. Having the ability to stay overseas, he still opted to come back to Vietnam in 2020 for contribution.
He is a member of the Vietnam Young Intellectuals Forum, organized by the Central Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, to share the ambition of turning Vietnam into a strong nation in 2045.
The research and teaching focus of Dr. Anh is sustainable development and behavioral economics. He published three articles in Q1 journals – the leading and prestigious journal titles in the world. He also conducted various grassroots-level and ministerial-level studies about the influences of human behaviors on the environment like plastic bag use and the risk from plastic waste to oceans or e-cigarette use among teenagers. His research results are expected to help people correct their wrongdoings.
At present, Dr. Anh is the Vice President of Global Network of Vietnamese Young Intellectuals – a scheme held by the Central Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union to gather young Vietnamese learning and working abroad for the development of their country. He is in charge of the professional aspect and supports young people with their scientific ideas.
Establishing the first Vietnamese town in the world
At the beginning of December 2023, the Vietnam Town was formally introduced in Udon Thani (Thailand). This is the residing place of more than 60,000 Vietnamese, becoming the capital of the Vietnamese in Thailand. It is 300m long and has about 100 houses.
Luong Xuan Hoa is now 66 years old. His father was from Quang Binh Province and mother from Ha Tinh Province. His family came to Thailand nearly a century ago in the war time. Growing up in Thailand, he tried to start a business to earn a living. At present, his corrugated iron company has 40 factories in Thailand, giving job to 600 workers.
Living in this area since childhood, Luong Xuan Hoa – Chairman of the Vietnamese Association in Udon Thani – has strived to work with the local authorities, the Vietnamese diplomatic agency, and suitable sponsors to establish this Vietnam Town, the first in the world formally recognized and supported by the local authorities.
Despite living abroad, strong emotions well up in him whenever he thinks about his fatherland or is reminded of Vietnam through different objects or scenes. Seeing that the quantity of made-in-Vietnam merchandise sold in Thailand is not high while Thai goods are so popular in Vietnam, there was an urge for him to find solutions to this issue. Letting his offsprings operate the family company, Hoa spent more time to fulfill his dream of creating a Vietnamese town so that Vietnamese items have a stable location for marketing and trading.
After a whole year preparing for the grand opening of the town, Chairman Hoa feels truly blissful and content seeing that there are groups after groups of Thai as well as international tourists coming to take photos of the scene, enjoying Vietnamese-style coffee or food, and buying Vietnamese specialties here. The town is particularly attractive during this Tet thanks to charming decorations.
Last year, the Vietnamese Association occupied the first position among 100 associations in Udon Thani. Being its chairman, Hoa has actively worked to preserve Vietnamese pagodas in Thailand, to record the family trees of Vietnamese families coming to Thailand since the beginning of the 20th century, to teach Vietnamese to Thai people with Vietnamese origin so that their fatherland can always be a special part in their heart.
Hoa has always hoped that people like him in Thailand can obtain a Vietnamese citizenship for more convenience in trading activities as well as preserving their cultural roots no matter where they go to work and live.
Introducing Vietnamese produce via special methods
In 2017, Nguyen Ngoc Luan from HCMC introduced his fruit-flavored coffee product named ‘Meet More’ to the market with the aim to increase the value of Vietnamese coffee internationally. Day after day, he visited different countries to market his new merchandise in several local festivals.
His patience paid off when the number of people enjoying his innovative, delicious product slowly rose. Some people even nicknamed him Mr. Meet More and praised his goods. Taking this chance, Luan introduced other high-quality made-in-Vietnam items as well. Step by step, his products were more widely welcomed in 2020. During the hard time of the Covid-19 pandemic, Meet More items were still the hot sellers, and he felt each of his efforts in six years were well worth.
Right now, Luan is busing receiving new orders from old and new partners. Meet More is available in more than 10 markets like Australia, the US, Russia, or the Republic of Korea, where a large community of Vietnamese is residing. One of his agencies has just shared that Meet More was warmly welcomed in an event of 400 participants, and thus more orders are now on the way.
Despite the possibility to encounter more obstacles, his enthusiasm has helped Luan devise effective plans to introduce even more Vietnamese produce like ST25 rice, purple rice, and coconut to the global community.
Spreading passion to the world
Spending more than 9 years improving her flower arrangement skills, Cao Thi Huyen (aka Rose Cao) could not have imagined that her fulfillment and achievements had all stemmed from a sudden hobby.
Working in an oil and gas corporation from 2004 in Singapore, Rose Cao was continuously enduring pressure. In 2014, she took up flower arrangement to cure her mental weakness. Surprisingly, in 2016, pregnant Rose Cao entered Singapore Garden Festival 2016 and won the third prize, which then made way for her to involve more professionally into this art. The name ‘Rose Cao’ became more well-known in the global flower arrangement community.
Thanks to that achievement, Rose decided to open an online flower shop and also held regular workshops for this art. When returning to Vietnam at the end of 2016, she connected to organizations in the field to host a series of flower arrangement events, then a studio to train interested people on this art. She also received orders to design flowers in the reception space of luxurious hotels and residential areas.
Two years later, Rose won a silver medal in Chelsea Flower Festival thanks to the encouragement and support of the Vietnamese community there.
Using her own professional knowledge and passion, Rose Cao established a community for flower arrangement lovers, attracting over 15,000 Vietnamese members from all over the world, followed by an online learning platform for this art, which is now teaching 1,300 learners in 42 nations. She also published a bilingual English-Vietnamese book titled ‘Hibiscus Collection – A Step-by-Step Guide to Floral Design’ in 2022, now for sale on Amazon.com. Her second book is on its way to help her share her flower love to Vietnamese people of the same hobby.