Canada Welcomes Visit By Becamex from Vietnam

Pictures above: left, Vancouver BC, Canada;
Mr. Tran Van Lieu, Chairman of the Binh Duong Industrial Zones Authority addresses the participants

Although BecamexIDC in Binh Duong province, Vietnam, has focussed on and travelled to the U.S. market yearly for over eight years, June 2012 was Becamex first visit to Canada.  Becamex found a warm and receptive audience in Canada and were very impressed in Canadian expertise in areas as diverse as electronics, software, medical devices, automotive parts and many other sectors. 

Mr. Tran Van Lieu, Chairman of the Binh Duong Industrial Zones Authority and Vo Son Dien, Senior Advisor and Chief of Marketing at Becamex travelled to Canada from May 29-June 8, 2012 to perform marketing functions to Canadian companies.  They were met in Vancouver, Canada by Bill Dao, newly hired Canadian Country Representative for Becamex and the following day by Chris and Soraya Runckel, of Runckel & Associates who support Becamex marketing efforts in the U.S. and Asia.

Picture left: Mr. Frank Borowicz, Governor of The Vancouver Board of Trade addresses the audience; right: Mr. William Johnson, former Canadian Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam at the podium.

Picture left: Mr. Vo Son Dien, Advisory & Marketing Director, Becamex IDC introduces Becamex and Binh Duong's New City ; right: Mr. Chris Runckel, President of Runckel & Associates (Business-in-Asia.com) speaks on Asia and potentials there, especially in Vietnam.

Picture left: Mr. Bill Dao, new Becamex Representative in Canada; right: Mr. Dan On, President and CEO of Dan-D-Foods, Ltd. speaks

The Canadian program had been developed by Bill Dao with oversight and advice from the Runckel & Associates.  The first seminar in Canada was held in Vancouver on Friday, June 1, 2012 with the Vancouver Board of Trade.  Presentations were made by the Governor of the Board of Trade of Vancouver, Mr. Lieu, Mr. Dien, Mr. Runckel, Mr. Dan On (testimonial presentation on investment in Binh Duong), Mr. Bill Johnston, former Canadian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City and by a representative from the local British of Columbia provincial government.

This seminar was attended by a total of 50 according to our count.  Presentations were well received and the Governor of the Board of Trade said it was the best presentation on Vietnam ever seen in Vancouver and one of the best seminars in terms of content ever held by the Vancouver Board of Trade.

Seminar did achieve the purpose of building Becamex name recognition; knowledge that Becamex had named a Canadian country representative and Becamex knowledge of the Canadian market.  Also in Vancouver, Becamex met with several Canadian business persons and further built relationships with Dan On, owner of Dan-D-Pak, a major Canadian cashew supplier resident in Binh Duong, who announced during visit that he is planning buying land from Becamex in Becamex Industrial parks in My Phuoc or Bao Bang to centralize his Vietnam operations in 2013.

Pictures above: Right: Toronto;  Left:  Chris Runckel presents a gift on behalf of Becamex to Ned Nedungadi, Regional Director, Global Expansion, Business Development Bank of Canada

Sunday, June 3, 2012 the team took a five hour flight to Toronto, the major business city in Canada.  On Monday, June 4, 2012 the group met with Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) which is the major Canadian government business bank that supports the work of Canadian companies.  The group met the Senior Vice President, Financing and Counseling, the Regional Director, Global Expansion and the Managing Partner, Consulting and had a very good exchange.  Bank members also attended the seminar on the following day and have promised to work with Becamex to promote Becamex as a good partner for Canadian business

On Tuesday, June 5, 2012, the Seminar was held in Toronto with the Toronto Board of Trade.  A total of 120 attendees were at the seminar and lunch.  Additional potential attendees had to be turned away as the event was over-subscribed and no other members could be accepted.  This seminar included presentations similar to those in Vancouver but we were joined here by the former Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam, Ambassador Gabriel-M Lessard who also spoke on Binh Duong and Vietnam.  His presence and the presence of the Former Consul General of Canada in Ho Chi Minh City and of Mr. Chris Runckel, the first U.S. Diplomat in Vietnam all demonstrated the strength of Becamex's connections and that Becamex was of the highest quality and greatly reassured potential Canadian investors. 

In Toronto, Mr. Richard Magnusson of Magnusson Home , a Canadian Furniture company headquartered outside of Toronto, who has a logistical and distribution company in My Phuoc Industrial City operated by Becamex also spoke as a testimonial witness on the great opportunities in My Phuoc and in Vietnam and again made a strong impression on potential Canadian investors.  Subsequent to the seminar and the lunch, the group spoke one-on-one with potential investors.

Pictures above: Speakers networking in the Seminar at the Toronto Board of Trade in Toronto

On Wednesday, June 6, 2012, the group took a one hour plus flight to Montreal which is further east from Toronto.   On Wednesday, June 6 evening group met with Jio Long Investment Consulting Company which has referred Canadian investors to Becamex.   On Thursday, June 7, 2012, the group which at this point included speakers noted at Toronto seminar above except Dan On who had departed to attend to other business, met with a group of 36 seminar attendees.  Group here was small but interest was considerable and many people lauded the professionalism of the seminar.

Picture above: The Seminar at the Palais des Congres in Montreal.

The following day - Friday, June 8, 2012 Mr. Lie
u, Mr. Dien and Bill Dao met with the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation of Quebec Province, the Bank of Development of Canada Montreal  office and several customers.  That evening, Mr. Lieu, Mr. Dien and Bill Dao returned to Vancouver and then Mr. Lieu and Mr. Dien returned to Vietnam after a 2 hour stop over in Vancouver.

Now that Becamex has introduced itself in all three major Canadian cities, planning is taking place for repeat seminars in September or later in 2012.  Becamex is convinced on the warmth of the welcome they received in Canada and contact from may Canadian companies that Canadian’s investing in Becamex industrial parks and service companies participating in Becamex led New City project will grow greatly in the years ahead.

About the Author: 

Christopher W. Runckel, a former senior US diplomat who served in many counties in Asia, is a graduate of the University of Oregon and Lewis and Clark Law School. He served as Deputy General Counsel of President Gerald Ford’s Presidential Clemency Board. Mr. Runckel is the principal and founder of Runckel & Associates, a Portland, Oregon based consulting company that assists businesses expand business opportunities in Asia. (www.business-in-asia.com)

Until April of 1999, Mr. Runckel was Minister-Counselor of the US Embassy in Beijing, China. Mr. Runckel lived and worked in Thailand for over six years. He was the first permanently assigned U.S. diplomat to return to Vietnam after the Vietnam War. In 1997, he was awarded the U.S. Department of States highest award for service, the Distinguished Honor Award, for his contribution to improving U.S.-Vietnam relations.

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