On March 1st through 10th, thirty-three official delegates came together to embark on a ten-day real estate trade mission in Vietnam. Members of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) and the Vietnamese National Association of Real Estate Professionals (VNARP) aimed to foster mutual investment opportunities between real estate stakeholders in both Vietnam and the United States. The group visited Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi and Da Nang — cities that rank in the Top 10 of the World’s “Most Dynamic Cities of 2017” according to the JLL City Momentum Index. Notable delegates included Ron Gonzales, former Mayor, City of San Jose, Lieu Nguyen, the President’s Liaison to Vietnam for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and Hilda Ramirez, the Director of Public Relations/Events/Education for SCCAOR.
VNARP’s Day-by-Day recap of the Trade Mission:
Delegates from all over the US landed in Vietnam and met with the entire Trade Mission delegation. Thank you to our sponsor, Com Tam Cali, for their amazing hospitality for our welcome dinner. We reviewed our action packed itinerary to ensure that every person maximizes their time during our trade mission.
The delegates kicked off the trip with a meeting at Saigon Hi-Tech Park, one of only three national hi-tech parks in Ho Chi Minh City. Saigon Hi-Tech Park plays an important role, strongly enhancing the newest innovations and intellectual capital development and investments in the Focal Economic Region of Southern Vietnam. The park has proudly been the investment destination of projects from global hi-tech companies including Intel (U.S), Sanofil (France) Datalogic (Italy), Microchip (U.S.), and Sonion (Denmark).
Next, we met with Saigon Silicon City, a project being built on an area of 52 hectares (128 acres) with a total of 680 Billion VND ($40 Million). It will be occupied by over 24 enterprises operating in the field of hi-tech and tech support. Deputy Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee, Le Thanh Liem, says the entire infrastructure will play an important role in developing science technology and attracting overseas business.
To conclude our day, we met with Mary Tarnowka, Consul General for the Consulate General of the United States of America. She spoke about the mission of promoting public affairs and transparency in global exchanges. As of today, HCMC is ranked 2nd in the world for “most dynamic city” and “economic growth”. Education has been bridging the gap between countries and Vietnam has been #6 in exports to the US.
VNARP & SCCAOR held the first of the three Vietnam Trade Mission Conferences at the prestigious Reverie Saigon Hotel. Our speakers included former Mayor, City of San Jose – Mr. Ron Gonzales, VNREA’s President – Mr. Bui Ngoc Suong, VNREA’s Vice President – Mr. Truong Tuan Anh, VinaLand’s BOD President – Mr. Tran Minh Hoang, Robert Mullins International’s Executive – Mr. Michael Le Minh Hai, CBRE’s Line Leader – Ms. Dung Duong, and Upcoming President of AREAA 2018/19 – Mr. Tom Truong.
On Day 4 we visited Phu My Hung Development Corporation, a large urban infrastructure developer responsible for the master planning of the 3,300 hectare (~ 8,154 acres) Saigon South urban expansion plan. This master plan was the first Asian urban plan to win an American Institute of Architects Honor Award for Urban Design in 1997. PMH is also among the first to introduce the concept of condominiums to Vietnam. The next site, Sacomreal Development, introduced us to a project called Jamona Golden Silk, which consists of two main areas (high/low rise). Currently, the project has completed its infrastructure. And lastly, we saw Dai Phuc’s Saigon Riverside, a planned development of 10,000 units will also be enveloped with Southeast Asia’s largest water park. Our delegation gained direct insight into the future of what’s to come for the city of Ho Chi Minh. We ended the day with an impressive dinner at Cham Cham in Phu My Hung.
After great successes with our trade mission in Ho Chi Minh City, we traveled to the next city, Ha Noi, which is also listed as one of the 10 most dynamic cities in the world. Just to get a taste of Vietnam, we stopped by Quan An Ngon for a variety of food from different regions. At night, we looked upon an amazing view of Ho Guom while sitting on the roof top for dinner at Cau Go Vietnamese cuisine.
The purpose of the trade mission was to create mutual investment opportunities, to share key drivers for economic growth and activity, and to strengthen the development of foreign investors in Vietnam and the United States. On Day 6 we met with VCCI Vice Executive President, Mr. Doan Duy Khuong, Mayor of Ha Noi, Mr. Nguyen Duc Chung, and Minister of MPI (Planning and Investment), Mr. Nguyen Tri Dung. We were able to learn a great deal about the economic activities in Ha Noi. We also had the opportunity to meet with the Mayor of Hanoi, Nguyen Duc Chung. Alongside our leading delegation, we were quite impressed by the growth of the city as a whole.
This was one of the most exciting days as we were able to meet some the top developers in Vietnam including VinGroup, FLC Group and CEO Group. The caliber of projects that they are developing is truly remarkable. We spent time with the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs – Deputy Minister Mr. Ha Kim Ngoc. He provided an update on foreign affairs and economic development between Vietnam and the United States. We ended the day with dinner at JW Marriott, one of the most luxurious hotels in Ha Noi.
The Vietnam Trade Mission’s second conference was held at Sofitel Legend Metropole in Ha Noi. Speakers included former Mayor, City of San Jose, Mr. Ron Gonzales, President of VNREA, Mr. Nguyen Tran Nam, Vice President of VNREA and President of VARS, Mr. Nguyen Manh Ha, Partner of Robert Mullins International, Mr. Michael Le M Hai and Upcoming President of AREAA 2018/19, Mr. Tom Truong. We concluded the conference with a special meeting with United States Ambassador Mr. Ted Osius. We wrapped up our day with a rooftop experience and a Michelin star dining at Tim Ho Wan, located at the 36th floor Lotte Hotel Ha Noi.
Our arrival to Da Nang was nothing short of spectacular as we were greeted by ladies in beautiful ao dai dresses who handed each delegate a beautiful floral arrangement and signage to welcome us into the city. We met with the President of Thanh Dat Group at one of their Hoa Binh Green Development projects. Soon after, we were off to VinaCapital’s latest development, also on the Han River, called Azura. We ended the day with a quick tour of the oldest city in Vietnam, Hoi An Ancient Town. There we had a farewell dinner for some of the members of the delegation at Morning Glory Restaurant (NH Rau Muong Xanh).
Our third conference was held in Da Nang by a very special seminar chaired by His Excellency Tran Van Mien, Vice Chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee on Real Estate Investment Promotion. Additional participants included Da Nang Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Planning and Investment, Department of Construction, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Tourism, Department of Industry and Trade, Da Nang Investment Promotion Agency, Hi-Tech Park Authorities, Industrial and Export Processing Zones Authorities along with representatives of Da Nang Small and Medium Enterprises Association, Da Nang Young Business Association and the Da Nang Tourism Association.
We very much appreciated the presentations by the members of the delegation and the participation of the government representatives. VNARP and SCCAOR will continue to provide support to secure more business in Vietnam and United States, boosting the economy and sustaining the relationships with the key holders in the industry.
About VNARP: The Vietnamese National Association of Real Estate Professionals connects with real estate professionals, its affiliates and the Vietnamese community nationwide. We are an organization that seeks to expand, empower and lead by example in our community and network. Additionally, our core values are to provide education, build business relationships and continue to develop existing business relationships. To learn more, please visit our site www.vnarp.org.