Mihaylo College MBA students pose in front of the Intel logo during their visit to the company's facility in Saigon, Vietnam, in early 2016.

Mihaylo MBA students learned about Vietnam’s rapidly-expanding high-tech manufacturing sector during their January visit to the Intel facility in Saigon. The nation is experiencing rapid economic growth as it attracts foreign investment.

A group of Mihaylo MBA students visited Vietnam in January to experience the interconnected economies of the Pacific Rim. Their visit to Vietnam afforded a firsthand look at a rapidly-expanding transition economy with emerging business opportunities.  

Vietnam is among the fastest-growing economies in the world, rapidly transforming into a regional and global leader in attracting and retaining foreign investment in coming years. The country has enjoyed one of the highest GDP growth rates in the world over the past decade, reaching 6.5% in 2015, with industry and construction powering the nation’s expansion.

Vietnam’s rapid expansion is fueled by foreign direct investment (FDI) in manufacturing as companies relocate their operations to the nation from China in favor of Vietnam’s lower labor costs. FDI reached $10 billion in 2014 and was likely about $12 billion in 2015.

Experiencing Vietnam’s Dynamism

Experiencing a vibrant global business environment is a valuable learning opportunity for Mihaylo MBA students. This group of students visited Vietnam’s largest city Saigon, officially known as Ho Chi Minh City, as part of their study tour of Asia this January. Their tour of the modern metropolis of more than 8 million people included panel discussions and meetings at local businesses, including a stop at Intel Vietnam, the world’s largest computer chip plant, representative of Vietnam’s expanding technology industry. More than 80% of the company’s latest central processing unit (CPU) model have been made in the country. While meeting senior leaders at Intel, students gained a better understanding of the unique challenges facing businesses in Vietnam as well as opportunities for future growth.

“The optimism and success stories shared by the panelists we heard from convinced me that business development in Vietnam is not as difficult as I envisioned,” says MBA student Curt Sparnicht ’16.

The sign and landscape surrounding the Intel campus in Saigon, Vietnam, which is emblematic of the Southeast Asian country's rise as a tech manufacturing hub.

Saigon’s mammoth Intel facility exemplifies the nation’s rapidly growing high-tech manufacturing sector.

Vietnam and World Trade

The group learned about the opportunities the Vietnamese economy faces under the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would create the world’s largest free trade area and further improve Vietnam’s growth trajectory. While politicians and pundits in the United States and elsewhere debate the consequences of the TPP, many believe that Vietnam stands to benefit most from the plan as the country would gain access to large developed markets for its cheaply-produced manufactured goods. The outlook for Vietnam is improved further with a free trade agreement reached with the European Union in December 2015.

Mihaylo MBA students are prepared for the contemporary globalized society. By participating in study abroad programs, they learn about the promise of emerging markets and the opportunities for investment in these growth regions.

For more on Mihaylo’s MBA program and other graduate studies, including their study tour opportunities, visit Mihaylo MBA and Graduate Programs online or at SGMH 4210. For more on Mihaylo’s other study abroad programs, visit the Center for International Business online or at SGMH 3357A.

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