In November 2011, Becamex IDC, Vietnam’s largest infrastructure, industrial park developer and operator and one of Vietnam’s larger real estate companies stepped onto the central stage of world business at the APEC CEO Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii. The APEC 2011 CEO Summit with the theme “The Future”Redefined” was held in conjunction with APEC Leaders week. The Summit included interaction with world leaders including US President Barrack Obama, Chinese President Hu Jintao, President Dmitry Mevedev of Russia, President Truong Tan Sang of Vietnam, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico among others.
In addition to world leaders, leaders of world business like John C. Lechleither, Ph.D, Chairman/President of Eli Lilly & Co., Doug Oberhelman, Chairman and CEO, Caterpillar, Inc., Scott Price, President and CEO, Walmart, Asia, William C. Weldon, Chairman and CEO, Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, Craig Mundie of Microsoft and others led the speaking and panel efforts.
Picture above: Becamex logo is displayed on main stage
as a Platinum Sponsor, next to Boeing and Chevron.
Conversation session with US President Obama
and a panel discussion that included the Prime Minister of Singapore
The Becamex IDC team shortly after arrival.
At the APEC CEO Summit Becamex was one of the Platinum(top level) sponsors. Other Platinum sponsors included Google, Walmart, Microsoft, Boeing, Caterpillar, Chevron, Dow, Eli Lilly & Co., Johnson & Johnson among a total of 22 Platinum sponsors. Becamex from Binh Duong, Vietnam was the first Asian sponsor to commit to APEC and one of only four other Asian companies at the highest level. Others were Sumitomo from Japan, ICBC Bank from China and HTC from Taiwan. Twenty other companies sponsored at the lower Gold level and included Nissan, Cargill, GE and other major companies.
Seen on front row, Becamex team leader:
Mr. Nguyen Phu Thinh, CEO of VSIP JV Co.,Ltd-Subsidiary of Becamex IDC
and Mr. Vo Son Dien, Advisory & Marketing Director
of Becamex IDC Corp. at the APEC 2011 CEO Summit.
APEC 2011 CEO Summit Ballroom.
Becamex showcases video of its mega-project: building Binh Duong New City,
on large screen LED in front of the Summit ballroom.
From left: Dr. Nguyen The Hiep, CEO of Becamex Healthcare JSC;
Mr. Pham Van Hoa, Chairman of Becamex HealthCare JSC;
and Mr. Huynh Quang Hai, CEO of Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park
& Township Development JSC-Subsidiary of Becamex IDC.
As will be noted, most of the above company names are worldwide brands with international standing. Becamex, although a famous Vietnam brand, and with a company history that dates back over 30 years is not so famous. Becamex with 30 subsidiary companies and assets of over $5 billion and over 2,500 employees is not a small company but it is certainly not comparable in resources or worldwide reach to Boeing, Microsoft, Caterpillar or other big world brands. The opportunity of APEC was the chance to brand your company with some of the most famous worldwide brands. Becamex CEO Nguyen Van Hung who is known in Vietnam for his vision and leadership felt the risks were worth the potential returns. He also felt that sponsorship of APEC offered Becamex an opportunity to draw the world’s attention to Vietnam as a site for investment and growth and to expose Vietnam’s young but up and coming business executives to the issues that will characterize the 21st Century.
Becamex’s new generation – from left:
Mr. Nguyen Tan Loi, Vice President/Vice Rector of Eastern International University Subsidiary of Becamex IDC;
Mr. Le Thanh Toan, Deputy Director of Planning & Control Depart., Becamex IDC Corp.;
Mr. Nguyen Hong Hai, Chief Architect of Becamex IDc Corp.;
Mr. Huynh Quang Hai. CEO of VSIP & Township Development JSC;
and Mr. Nguyen Hoang An, Assistant to CEO of Becamex IDC Corp.
Mr. Chris Runckel, Becamex Senior Advisor and President of Runckel & Associates;
and Mrs. Soraya Runckel, Deputy Director for External Affairs of BecamexIDC
and Vice President of Runckel & Associates;
helped Becamex team in preparation for the APEC CEO Summit.
Mr. Dien and Mr. Thinh at the business luncheon
with President of Vietnam and President of Peru,
hosted by the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC)
President of Vietnam and President of Peru
To help meet the challenge of all the work that would be required for Becamex to present itself as professionally as possible and give a consistent and positive branding message, Mr. Hung gathered a team of young Vietnamese managers from across Becamex subsidiaries and the parent company. To supplement and coordinate their work, he asked Runckel & Associates which has worked with Becamex for over eight years to support Becamex efforts. This decision was made not only because Runckel & Associates has done such efforts in the past but also because Runckel & Associates President Chris Runckel has had long experience with APEC having headed US government efforts to organize the first APEC Leaders meeting in Seattle in 1993 plus work at other APECs and work in coordinating visits worldwide for US President’s for over 30 years.
Business luncheon hosted by Becamex at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.
From left: Mr. Thinh; Ms. Susan Chang, Chairperson of Taiwan Financial Holdings,
Bank of Taiwan; Mr. Alec Keng, Executive Secretary;
Ambassador Michael Michalak, former Ambassador to Vietnam & Senior Advisor
to APEC 2011 USA Host Committee;
and Dr. Michael Reardon, Co-Rector of Eastern International University.
Mr. Chris Runckel, with his old friend – Mr. Hoang Van Dung, First Vice Executive President
of The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) at the ABAC luncheon.
Mr. Hoang Van Dung heads up ABAC in Vietnam in addition to his duties with VCCI.
The Sheraton Waikiki in Hawaii hosted the main event of the APEC 2011 CEO Summit
a scenic view from the hotel balcony
APEC today is vastly different than what it was in 1993 in Seattle. Business was key to the APEC meetings in Hawaii, not just an appendage or an afterthought as was frankly the case in Seattle. Further, there was a real attempt to have a dialogue in Hawaii and not just the one-way speeches that have characterized past APEC CEO Summits. In 2011, dynamic staging, sound, digital and visual presentations were integrated to help support and enhance the meeting process. Although not everything worked as well as might have been hoped, certainly the overall result was a much better meeting and this fact was commented upon by virtually all of the attendees we spoke to.
For Becamex and its efforts in the midst of APEC 2011, the challenge was clear. The result was also clear – Becamex performed at the top level and although the question was often heard “Who is Becamex”, the answer was also quickly responded by an active staff of Becamex professionals, brochure, advertisement, video clips with and without sound and other marketing aids that Vietnam was a place to note and that in Vietnam Becamex was the company to watch.
Some of the Becamex team
Ms. Monika Nguyen – Chief Representative for European Market for Becamex
– a person with a deep understanding of Vietnam and Vietnamese culture
exchanges business cards with APEC attendees
and helps to explain Becamex activities and the opportunities in Vietnam.
Many of the Vietnamese companies attending either the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) or the APEC CEO Summit commended Becamex on the professional way they carried off their Platinum level sponsorship. They noted that such a well produced and executed sponsorship created a positive response for all Vietnamese companies as the fact that Becamex was already working at the highest levels also helped to show that Vietnam was a place to watch. In addition, virtually without exception most of the other APEC Platinum and Gold level sponsors commended Becamex on its work and expressed interest in better knowing and in the future working with Becamex.
The Asia Pacific Region is one of the most dynamic regions in the world. Speakers and business leaders at APEC repeatedly made the point that they see their future in Asia. Becamex supports such sentiments and is stepping up to lead Vietnamese companies into this new era.
About the Author:
Christopher Runckel, President of Runckel & Associates – Becamex Senior Advisor
Christopher W. Runckel, a former senior US diplomat who served in many countries 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.