Southeast Asia can pride itself on having increased the number of startups and entrepreneurial activities. Yet, scaling these startups to solidly profitable levels has been a challenge. Partly because Southeast Asian home market is so diverse: so many countries, so many cultures, so many religions, languages, political systems, currencies, so many different regulations, so many different institutions.

This YSEALI Academy’s seminar on Born Globals focuses on learning unique startup capabilities that allow them to rapidly expand internationally. If you want to be part of this movement for a more regionally and globally connected startup culture, our next Entrepreneurship Seminar is for you!

The YSEALI Academy at Fulbright University Vietnam will host young professional from across ASEAN member states and Timor-Leste to explore and discuss about the Born Globals together. The seminar will start with 2 engagement sessions online and continue with a 1-week seminar series in-person in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from September 24 – October 1, 2022.

Applications are now being accepted until July 29th. Young professionals from across ASEAN and Timor-Leste who are between the ages of 25-35 (no previous YSEALI experience required) or between the ages of 36-40 (YSEALI alumni status required) are encouraged to apply.

Apply at: https://bit.ly/yaapply

If you want to learn more about our seminar, do join our Information Session Webinar on July 15! The YSEALI Academy team will answer questions, and tips on applying for prospective candidates.

Follow us at: https://www.facebook.com/YSEALIAcademyatFulbright

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam — The YSEALI Academy at Fulbright University Vietnam (hereinafter the YSEALI Academy) officially announced the launch of its Entrepreneurship Seminar titled “The Born Globals: Scaling Startups beyond Borders”. This seminar is now open for applications until July 29, 2022.

Launched in 2020, the YSEALI Academy’s main mission is to build capacity and enhance leadership skills for young professionals ages 25-40 from across Southeast Asia and Timor-Leste. Each year, the YSEALI Academy offers four seminars on Public Policy, Technology & Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The 2022 Entrepreneurship Seminar on Born Globals: Scaling Startups beyond Borders is a 1-week in-person seminar series preceded by two online engagement sessions geared towards young professionals who are (or are planning) to hone their skills to grow new ventures internationally.

The combination of online engagement sessions and a week-long in-person seminar/workshops will be high-speed, ultra-meaningful, and prepare the fellows for the Start or Expansion of an international new venture. At its core will be an action-based hackathon complemented by lectures, panel discussions, and coaching sessions from a carefully selected group of faculty and mentors. Participants have a chance to build conceptual business solutions for pressing societal problems across borders, and finally, pitch their plans before VCs and business angels. This seminar will unlock Southeast Asian entrepreneurial potential that can change the world.

The Entrepreneurship Seminar on “The Born Globals: Scaling Startups beyond Borders” will be opened to YSEALI Academy fellows who are young professionals between the ages of 25-40, highly qualified and motivated, from all 10 ASEAN member countries and Timor-Leste. Once selected, all participants will be fully funded by the U.S. Department of State to attend the seminar.

Seminar schedule:

  • Enrollment: July 7 – July 29, 2022
  • Announcement of Result: August 18, 2022
  • Seminar dates:
    • September 20 – 22: Online Engagement Session
    • September 24 – October 1: In-person Seminar in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

To apply: https://yseali.fulbright.edu.vn/apply/

Southeast Asia can pride itself on having more and more startups and entrepreneurial activities. Yet, scaling these startups internationally has been a challenge, partly because of the very diverse Southeast Asian home market. Learning from Born Globals can help to overcome these external obstacles. Born Globals are known for their unique startup capabilities to rapidly expand across borders: global leadership, adaptability, networking capacity, and innovative business models. If you want to be part of this movement for a more regionally and globally connected startup culture, our next Entrepreneurship Seminar is for you!”, Willem Smit, Ph.D., Lead Faculty for Entrepreneurship of YSEALI Academy.

As you are aware, Southeast Asia is one of the most entrepreneurial regions on this planet. There are over 70 Million micro, small and medium sized enterprises in Southeast Asia, which contribute to over 50% of the regional GDP. It is fair to say that entrepreneurship runs deep in our societies. You, as the young talents of Southeast Asia, will play a crucial part in shaping the regional ecosystem and solving the most pressing problems in our modern society. Despite the huge talent pool in Southeast Asia and the growth in capital, it has been historically challenging for Southeast Asian startups to scale beyond national boundaries or even establish themselves globally. Why has this scaling process been so hard and how can we enable it? This fascinating question lies at the heart of our upcoming Entrepreneurship Seminar on “Born Globals: Scaling Startups beyond Borders”.

“In order to tackle this question, we must engage in a dialogue that features stakeholders from different backgrounds in business, academia, and leadership. Be part of this exciting dialogue, which promises to yield insights that will help you cross boundaries on your entrepreneurial journey!”, Ha Thi Hoang, MD, PhD, Director of YSEALI Academy.

A research fellow at the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Dr. Sheena Ramazanu was among the 35 fellows participating in the Technology and Innovation seminar, held virtually by the YSEALI Academy at Fulbright in September 2021. From her professional practice as a registered nurse to her scholarly career in teaching and research, we spoke with the Singaporean fellow about the stories that inspired her journey, including the valuable lessons gained from the YSEALI seminar and technology’s potential to transform the field of healthcare across the region.      

“We may have access to good education, but without health, be it mental health or physical health, there’s no well-being,” Dr. Sheena Ramazanu reflects on the memory that kindled her enduring dedication to healthcare. It took place during a visit to the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, when she was still in secondary school, in which Ramazanu met and talked to two visually impaired persons – one boy, despite his condition, had learn to become a massage therapist; and a girl, only 16 years old at the time, went blind due to diabetic retinopathy, a medical condition caused by the high blood sugar from diabetes. “The conversations we had made me realize how important health is. It stayed with me and from that moment on, I became very keen to go into nursing,” she says.  

Dr. Sheena Ramazanu is a Nursing Alumni of Nanyang Polytechnic, School of Health Sciences, Year 2011.

At the Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore, Ramazanu graduated with Merit for her Diploma in Nursing in 2011, while in the same year, received several awards including the Ministry of Health Gold Medal (for outstanding performance in the course of study leading to the diploma), the Singapore Nurses Association Award, and CapitaLand Healthcare Frontliners Award. In 2010, while she attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing on a Scholarly Internship, Ramazanu was talking to a patient when she suddenly collapsed. The cause was later identified as heart failure. Still a student, she could only observe the doctors and nurses’ emergency response, and pray.  

“When the patient recovered the next day, I asked for permission to visit her in the intensive care unit. She told me even though she couldn’t visualize me, she heard my scream and calling out for help, and thanked me for my prayer” Ramazanu recalls. “That particular experience taught me the value of life. For one moment, people can be talking with each other happily. And then in a tiny span of time, things can change drastically. It made me realize how valuable the nursing profession is.”     

In 2013, Ramazanu attained the Bachelor of Science in Nursing with First-Class Honor from the University of Manchester-Singapore Institute of Technology, which also awarded her Full Scholarship to pursue a Master in Clinical Research from 2014 to 2016. Before completing her Doctor of Philosophy on a 3-year PhD fellowship offered by the prestigious Hong Kong Polytechnic University (School of Nursing) in 2021, Ramazanu had served as a Registered Nurse with Alexandra Health (Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and Yishun Community Hospital) for 7 years, and was an annual recipient of their Service Champion Award.  

Dr. Sheena Ramazanu was a Visiting Scholar at University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, USA, for a month in 2010.

It was the hands-on experience within that clinical setting – working with women and children, washing the bodies of people who have passed on, delivering care as a stroke nurse – that prompted her research studies on improving health outcomes for persons with chronic disease conditions and their family caregivers. Her papers have been published in international refereed journals such as the Journal of Nursing Research, Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives, Reviews in Medical Virology, and Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases. 

“Beyond carrying out my duties as a nurse, I decided to take a step back and become a listener,” she says. “Sometimes patients can hold different values, perceptions and personal beliefs when it comes to healthcare, which may result in conflicts and difficulties for caregivers to administer medical treatments. Through my research expertise, I feel that I’m able to put myself in the patients’ shoes, to analyze their worlds with empathy by asking them the right questions and get to know their life experience.”   

The YSEALI seminar on Technology and Innovation: A platform for connection, collaboration and solutions

Currently, Dr. Sheena Ramazanu works and teaches as a research fellow at the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. Whereas ‘pre-Covid normal’ had allowed in-person research, counseling and lectures with patients, families and students, the pandemic has impelled her to find a new approach. “Technology has been playing a vital role in the education sector. With hybrid teaching, I’ve learned to engage effectively with students both online and on site. In terms of research, as we can’t always go to the hospital and call on the patients and their family caregivers, we can use technology to get connected with them,” she says. “The past two years have taught me that technological solutions are so important, and the way forward is digital transformation. I don’t think we will be moving back to how things were before.”      

Dr Sheena Ramazanu was the winner of the Research Grants Council’s Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Award (2017-2020).

Ultimately, Ramazanu wants to develop technology-based solutions that provide virtual intervention and counseling for patients, as well as help the underserved in her country locate relief resources more easily. Once she came across the information about the YSEALI seminar on Technology and Innovation, Ramazanu knew it was right for her, and decided to apply. “Honestly speaking, I do not have much expertise in technology. All I hoped was to learn more about digital transformation and how to curate relevant programs for my work. But I felt very warm and welcome the moment I received the acceptance email from Fulbright and the YSEALI Academy,” she smiles.  

Centered on the theme of Digital Transformation Challenges and Opportunities in Post-COVID-19, the seminar was one of the three flagship seminars (the others being Public Policy, and Entrepreneurship) organized by the YSEALI Academy at Fulbright University Vietnam in 2021. Through an intensive series of lectures, panel discussions and workshops, young professionals from Southeast Asian countries can build capacity to address challenging issues facing the region, while having the opportunity to engage with prominent scholars and industry experts from across the globe.    

“Going into the seminar, I did not realize that we would meet with distinguished professors like Dr. Sandra Matz. I’d come across her name before, but I did not know that we would all be sharing the same space with her, so to speak,” Ramazanu says. “I think it was phenomenal. I became fascinated with what I experienced from day one, and that feeling carried over until the very last day of the program.”  

At the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane, Australia, during her Visiting Scholarship at Queensland University of Technology in 2019.

Alongside Dr. Sandra Matz, a world-renowned computational social scientist, and her lecture on ‘Digital footprints of people and businesses for better decision making’, Ramazanu was also impressed with the extensive issues and topics covered within the seminar, including machine learning, data sciences, fintech, cybersecurity, and climate change. Another standout lecture was delivered by Dr. Johan Barthelemy from the University of Wollongong, Australia. Titled ‘Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence of Things for Smarter Communities’, it helped her recognize the importance of human connection, or rather, the human touch, in developing successful technological solutions.  

“It’s quite easy to build anything you want, but without talking to people, learning about their needs, their experiences, their stories, they will not find the reason to use it,” she stresses. “The seminar gave me an expanded view on so many other worldly problems that we’re facing together. It made me realize that life is a jigsaw puzzle, that I myself cannot solve all the problems related to healthcare, that we need people from different expertise to come together, each of us an important piece, to collectively solve the issues at hand.”   

An excellent platform to share and build ASEAN identity

The YSEALI seminar on Technology and Innovation was also packaged with workshops on leadership skill, which Ramazanu deems indispensable to effective – and emotive – communication that will push ideas into reality. “One thing that I will always keep in my heart is the network of people who we meet in our life, how essential they are. In other words, your network is your net worth,” she says, remarking on the friendship formed over the seminar with her YSEALI fellows. “To solve a particular world problem, it will not be possible if we work in silos. When we come together from Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar or the Philippines, we’re not only representing our countries. Beyond that, we’re sharing an ASEAN identity.”

Dr. Sheena Ramazanu at Iconic Sultan Mosque, Singapore.

During the seminar, her team of 5 was assigned to give a critical analysis presentation on the electronic health record system in their home countries. “It was an eye-opening experience for me,” she says. “Countries like Singapore, which have more access to the internet and technology, have 100% usage of electronic health records. Unfortunately, in some other countries, not everyone can get the same coverage and offered support on time. This will be detrimental to their health.”  

Ramazanu believes by sharing expertise and knowledge across disciplines, getting in on the cultural and social perspectives of different parts of the world – something the YSEALI Academy has proved to be an excellent facilitating platform – can we get united to act and come up with solutions to help the vulnerable in certain parts of ASEAN. This month, she will be giving a talk on the issue of mental health at the upcoming YSEALI seminar on Entrepreneurship (at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where she obtained her PhD, Ramazanu had received the Certificate in Mental Health First Aid by The Mental Health Association of Hong Kong).  

“As an alumnus currently serving on the YSEALI Leadership Board, I want to see this family grow bigger and stronger every year. And it will definitely grow,” she says. “Whenever time permits, I will always contribute to this important network. Whether it’s health-related talks, new findings in my research, or technological solutions to help people in the region adopt a healthier lifestyle, I look forward to sharing them whenever an opportunity arises. 

“Hopefully, I will be able to foster a very good relationship between the National University of Singapore and Fulbright University Vietnam in terms of health-related technological solutions and scientific research. Our work together will definitely benefit the community in Singapore and Vietnam. But more importantly, by incorporating our knowledge and expertise, the ideas and projects we have will be much more enriched, thus benefiting the entire regional community.”  

Bao Quyen

Knowledge is power. With each and every seminar organized by the YSEALI Academy at Fulbright, our young leaders (fellows) from 10 ASEAN countries and Timor Leste have come to expect the extraordinary opportunity to engage with esteemed scholars and high-profile industry leaders on critical issues facing the region. The Technology & Innovation seminar, YSEALI Academy’s second instalment in a series of 3 seminars delivered in 2021, successfully carries on that tradition, where a coterie of eminent speakers is invited to engage, advise and inspire.  

“The world has changed.” Stephanie Davis, Vice President of Google Southeast Asia, began her keynote speech with this remark at the YSEALI Academy’s plenary session for its Technology & Innovation seminar. That the coronavirus pandemic has altered and reshaped our world in multifarious ways needs no further expounding – it’s a reality in which we have lived and experienced for the past year. In Southeast Asia in particular, the question remains on its impact and implications on digital transformation of the economy, and how digitalization is without doubt instrumental in the region’s economic recovery.     

A catalyst for transformation

According to the e-Conomy SEA report 2020,  there were 40 million people who joined the Internet for the first time over the past year in Southeast Asia. Compared to 100 million new users added between 2015 and 2019, it’s quite an astounding number. “What we’ve seen during the pandemic and particularly here in the region is a big acceleration,” Davis said. “The need for tech migration has been amplified dramatically, and what we thought would take at least 5 years in Southeast Asia happened within 10 months of 2020.”  

Varying degrees of lockdown across nations have necessitated this boom in digital adoption. From online shopping to education to entertainment, people have come to rely on technology to maintain access to essential services, work from home or sustain their business: 36% of digital consumers are new to the service they whether purchased, registered or subscribed online. Whereas 94% of these new consumers gave a favorable response when asked if they would continue using digital services after the pandemic is under control. “People may have come online or consumed online for the first time because of Covid-19, but they found helpfulness and efficiency, so they are to stay,” said Davis.  

Stephanie Davis, Vice President of Google Southeast Asia

With 400 million people, or 70% of Southeast Asia’s population, are now online, it goes without saying that digitalization presents huge potential for business growth. It is estimated that digital ecosystems could account for $60 trillion in 2025 (or 30% of global corporate revenue). 70% of new business value created over the next decade will be through digital enabled platforms. And the circular economy powered by digital technologies can unlock $4.5 trillion in economic benefits by 2030.   

The key to accelerate

“Given the circumstances just described, digitalization should be at the heart of most business decisions,” Davis said. “Technology can increase productivity, strengthen operational excellence, and help businesses stay competitive.” She advised that companies should look for tech solutions that are intelligent, open and flexible, collaborative and inclusive. The fact that data privacy and security have in recent years become a focal point in our collective consciousness when it comes to online experience has highlighted the importance of first-party sources of data as a healthier alternative to third parties. “Nothing fuels productivity more than data,” she said. “It allows us to glean insights and to see what customers are thinking, how their needs are evolving.”  

By using Google Analytics, REA Group, a property digital company currently operating in Malaysia and Thailand, can connect multiple data sources and run simulations based on historical data. Consequently, faster changes to product activation and automating, in this case property listings or prices, are brought about and allow the company to win more business. “The point here is to get different data components in your company to talk to one another,” she said. 

Warung Pintar, a tech company in Indonesia, demonstrates the benefits of intelligent systems that deploy machine learning and advanced analytics to provide real-time insights. “The reason I chose this example is because even with the smallest and most local of companies, we have seen incredible evidence of what technology can do for them,” Davis said. Warung Pintar uses cloud technology to help family-owned stalls and small shops (warungs) keep track of inventory, record and manage point-of-sale transactions, and analyze supply chain performance to achieve efficiency. As a result, average delivery time is shortened by 3-5 hours, while inventory cost is lowered by 20% overall. 

Aye Hninn Khine, a fellow from Myanmar, posed a question to Ms. Davis during the Q&A session, moderated by Dr. Nam Huynh, Senior Research Fellow at the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management.

In the finance sector, fintech startups pose as digitally driven disruptors to retail banks by competing for the attention and spending power of young consumers. TPBank in Vietnam has embraced a digital-first approach alongside traditional bricks and mortar: an electronic know your customer (eKYC) feature was introduced in their app where users can take a selfie to conveniently and securely verify their identity. At the same time, a digital marketing campaign that promoted ease of use for online banking successfully grew new customers from 5% to 45%, and saw 1.5 times growth in the bank’s app transactions.      

A necessity for everyone

62% of customers now expect companies to adapt based on their actions and behaviors, while companies that deploy at least one sophisticated activation see a revenue uplift by 1.5 times. That means digital transformation is absolutely vital for business. “We all know how things played out in the retail space, where bricks and mortar companies didn’t feel the need to compete with e-commerce. They thought playing to their strengths after many years of success would be all they needed to do. Sadly it has left people trying to play catch-up, and many just couldn’t compete and went out of business.” Davis continued: “If you’re in a space that doesn’t have a direct e-commerce competitor and think that you’re safe, you’re not. It’s because what you’re competing for is the overall digital experience of customers.”      

The biggest challenge that Southeast Asia needs to resolve, according to Davis in response to Aye Hninn Khine, a fellow from Myanmar during the Q&A, lies in tech talent. Of the key 6 momentum drivers for the region’s digital economy to reach full potential, which include internet access, payments, consumer trust, funding and logistics, only talent hasn’t seen significant progress for the past 5 years. Tanyag John Paul Salvador from the Philippines and Sima Sanda Biondi from Indonesia also raised questions regarding workers’ fear of job loss and reskilling, and the role of the private sector to support governments with digital transformation.  

Ms. Davis answering a question by Sima Sanda Biondi, a fellow from Indonesia.

The solution entails a greater focus on producing tech-driven talent out of universities, as well as attracting talents from other regions to fill in opportunities on the market and for Southeast Asia to play a role as an export economy. Companies should invest in training programs continually updated and available to either new graduates or mid-career employees. “All along the way, I have to be retrained every year, multiple times a year,” Davis said. “We should give people the confidence in knowing they have resources at their fingertips, and keep them motivated based on the optimism about opportunities that technology brings us.”  

Finally, it’s not just up to universities to educate talents, not just the government to provide regulations or guidance, not just the private sector to ensure digital upskilling – all of us should work together to build for the region. “One of the things that fascinates me is the richness and diversity of this part of the world. But what I’d also like to think about in equal measure, when it comes to the opportunity of digital transformation, is the commonalities of this region,” she said. “One of course being the rapid pace of individuals coming online, and they’re doing so via mobile. It’s a region that prefers image, voice and video over text. And they see technology as an opportunity for economic recovery. That was something the governments in this region had identified even before the pandemic.”  

To the 35 fellows participating in the YSEALI Academy’s seminar on Technology & Innovation, Davis entrusted: “At the end of the seminar, I hope you will be left with a sense of optimism, and a sense of responsibility. You are our future leaders, Southeast Asia and ASEAN depend on you and your leadership.”   

Bao Quyen

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam— The YSEALI Academy at Fulbright University Vietnam (Fulbright) officially announced the launch of its second seminar in 2021. The seminar is under the theme of Technology and Innovation and will focus on Digital Transformation Challenges and Opportunities in Post-COVID-19. The application period is now open until July 15, 2021.

Launched in 2020 by the U.S. Department of State, the YSEALI Academy at FUV’s main mission is to build the capacity for young professionals, aged 25-40 from across Southeast Asia (Fellow). In 2021, the YSEALI Academy at FUV plans to offer three flagship seminars addressing challenging issues facing the region such as energy economics and policy, digital transformation challenges and opportunities, and fundamentals of startup investing in Southeast Asia.

The aim of the virtual two-week Technology and Innovation seminar on Digital Transformation Challenges and Opportunities in Post-COVID-19 is to provide training on an overview of digital transformation in Southeast Asia, with an emphasis on technology readiness, firm and consumer behavior, and regulatory aspects of fintech, e-commerce, digital finance, telecommuting/teleworking, data privacy, and cybersecurity. Through the course, Fellows can understand how companies across industry accelerate digitalization to increase resilience during and post-COVID-19. The seminar combines theoretical and experiential learning and includes high-impact practical experiences relating to maximize the engagement of participants.

The seminar will be offered by affiliate faculty from the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management, practitioners from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Fulbright, international and regional scholars and industry experts to develop and deliver learning materials and activities that are academically rigorous and practical to young professionals in ASEAN.

The Technology and Innovation seminar on Digital Transformation will select 25 fellows who are young professionals between the ages of 25-40, highly qualified and motivated, from all 10 ASEAN member states and Timor-Leste. Once selected, all seminar costs will be fully funded by the U.S. Department of State.

Seminar schedule:

  • Enrollment: June 15–July 15, 2021
  • Participant selection announced: August 09, 2021
  • Seminar dates: September 13–24, 2021 (two weeks virtual, ten working days, Monday – Friday)

To find out more about the seminar program at HERE

To apply: https://yseali.fulbright.edu.vn/apply/

“We hope to inspire young leaders, those who want to build their leadership competencies and be the resilient leaders of the new normal world post COVID-19 pandemic, through the seminar series at YSEALI Academy,” emphasized Dr. Le Vu Quan, Director of YSEALI Academy. “The virtual seminar is a testimony of Fulbright’s commitment to digital transformation in higher education to provide knowledge across national borders,” he added.

Similar to the Public Policy Seminar, this Technology and Innovation Seminar will be offered online. Starting in 2022, YSEALI Academy will offer face-to-face seminars in Vietnam.

Info session – YSEALI Academy at Fulbright University Vietnam’s Energy Economics and Policy Seminar is the first webinar for prospective applicants who are interested in learning more about the Energy Economics and Policy Seminar. Throughout this information session, YSEALI Academy’s leaders and faculty will introduce to interested applicants the curriculum, the application process, program requirements, and other opportunities we have to offer.

This webinar is a part of YSEALI Academy’s effort to engage and interact with young professionals across Southeast Asia and Timor Leste and provide them with opportunities to foster their career development. With a growing prospect of this region, it is now more than ever critical to offer new chances for this cohort to thrive into a new generation of leaders.

Prospective applicants must register for this information session in advance by filling out this form and will receive a link to the session via email.

For more information, contact YSEALI Academy by emailing yseali@fulbright.edu.vn or visit our website at https://yseali.fulbright.edu.vn/en/.

  • Webinar Information: Thursday, 22 April 2021, 12:00 – 13:00 p.m. (GMT+7)
  • Presenters:
    • Prof Le Vu Quan – Director, YSEALI Academy at Fulbright University Vietnam
    • Dr. Le Thai Ha – Director of Research & Senior Faculty Member
    • Mr. Huynh Trung Dzung – Public Policy Faculty

CP-TPP will be effective starting from 2019; as a member, what changes will Vietnam experience after the agreement takes effect? Particularly what are the impacts of the agreement on SOEs which are the backbone of Vietnamese economy?

In the seminar “Chapter 17 of Comprehensive-Prospective Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CP-TPP) and its implications on SOEs Reform in Vietnam” at Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management on 16thNovember 2018, Associate Prof. Pham Duy Nghia, Director of MPP Program addressed these questions in his seminar presentation.

Unlike negotiation rounds, TPP Agreement is attached with trade, political and legal significance in U.S.-China relations. As such, U.S. particularly focused on fostering and establishing chapters on intellectual rights, dispute resolution mechanism between foreign investors and the government, etc.

Nonetheless, in early 2017, U.S. decided to withdraw from TPP agreement and the remaining 11 members with three leading economies (i.e. Japan, Canada, and Australia)continued negotiating and successfully signed the revised Comprehensive-Prospective TPP Agreement (CP-TPP) in March 2018 and the revised agreement will enter into force from 2019.

In the revised CP-TPP agreement, Chapter 17 incorporates clauses on policy for SOEs and government subsidies at the expense of foreign firms. Vietnam and Malaysia, whose SOEs are pivotal in these economies, have negotiated strenuously to gain favorable positions in these clauses.

Chapter 17 has exerted pressure on member countries to make commitment for a level playing field for SOEs, private firms and foreign firms. Meanwhile, SOEs are obliged to publicly post their organization approaches and business results. These external pressures are consistent with desirable domestic reform efforts.

Given U.S. departure from the agreement and diminishing entry to U.S. market, will Vietnam go on to embrace Chapter 17 in CP-TPP, seeking external force to urge domestic reforms? Assoc.

Prof. Nghia believed that the magnitude of the change will be restricted and with extensive exempt cases in the Appendix, CP-TPP is expected to significantly adjust only large-sized SOEs which are owned and governed centrally.