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Hinrich Foundation, RMIT University host trade-focused FDI event in Vietnam

Published 13 March 2019

Hinrich Foundation, in partnership with RMIT University Vietnam, organised “The impact of trade-focused FDI across Asia and Vietnam” discussion event at RMIT University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on March 6, 2019.

The event was aimed at creating new thinking on the characteristics of healthy global trade and investment environment and to encourage all actors to work together for more sustainable trade outcomes. The event was attended by more than 80 students and staff from the RMIT University.

The President of RMIT University Vietnam, Gael McDonald, and Hinrich Foundation Program Director Alexander Boome in their opening remarks focused on the value of FDI and its impact on developing economies, including Vietnam, in their respective remarks.

Hinrich Foundation Founder and Chairman Merle A. Hinrich gave a presentation on the  importance of FDI in a country’s development as a trading nation. He focused on the impact of FDI flow in Vietnam and China.

“FDI can make a huge contribution to economic growth and the development of human capital through the establishment of FIEs, their operations and their supply chains,” Hinrich said.

“There is a vast range of catalytic impacts and positive spill-overs in terms of the development of distribution channels, technology, management skills, connectivity to world markets and access to international financial networks.”

On China’s leveraging FDI, Hinrich said that experience in receiving FDI and welcoming FIEs certainly demonstrates that FDI can be managed to gain maximum upside while limiting the downsides.

The presentation was followed by a panel discussion on the role of trade-focused FDI in development across Asia and Vietnam. Burkhard N. Schrage, RMIT University Vietnam, moderated the panel discussion. The panellists included:

  • Stephen Olson – Research Fellow, Hinrich Foundation
  • Van Nguyen – Senior Director Operations Management, adidas Vietnam
  • Trent Davies – Manager, International Business Advisory, Dezan Shira & Associates

During the panel discussion, Olson shared key takeaways from the Hinrich Foundation Sustainable Trade Index.

“It is becoming clear that sustainability drives competitiveness. Multinational Corporations are increasingly evaluating many of the same indicators (economic, social and environmental) when reaching decisions on where to place their critical FDI,” he said.

He further noted that private sector is increasing playing a leadership role in trade sustainability. “We now see more companies instituting sustainable codes of conduct into their supply chain. They are conducting audits and companies that score higher on sustainability audits are getting more business,” he said.

The event closed with a final remark of appreciation from Gael McDonald.

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Pragya Bhatnagar

Pragya Bhatnagar is a former Research Associate with the Hinrich Foundation where he focused on International Trade Research.

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