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Marco Förster

Marco Förster




RMIT University
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Master of Global Trade, Class of 2023


Head of ASEAN Advisory
Dezan Shira & Associates, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

“Global Trade is not only fueling economic growth but also bridging cultures and minimizing conflicts. Through this program, I will play an active role in transforming the way we do business with one another.”

Scholar background

Marco Förster is the Head of ASEAN Advisory at Dezan Shira & Associates - a pan-Asia professional services firm providing FDI advisory to international corporations since 1992. Based in Vietnam, he manages the firm’s operations in Southeast Asia, responsible for implementing its strategy to expand business in the region and beyond.

He started accumulating consulting experience when he joined a German business advisory in 2016 which focuses on promoting exchanges between Chinese and European enterprises. In 2018, he joined Dezan Shira & Associates in Beijing as an International Business Advisor. He was elected as the Chairman of the SME Forum within the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, a body leading advocacy endeavors for EU SMEs in China as well as hosting helpdesk activities to foster market success.

Marco earned his Bachelor’s in Economics from the Zhejiang University of Finance & Economics, as well as a postgraduate diploma in Digital Business from the Emeritus Management Institute in Singapore. In 2023, he completed his Master of Global Trade at RMIT University as a Hinrich Foundation Scholar.

Personal statement

Right after high school in Berlin, I decided to move to China to study. With my mother being Vietnamese, Asia has always fascinated me and an economics degree in Hangzhou seemed like the perfect balance between an adventure into an unknown country and undergraduate studies, which would open opportunities to a career in one of the most dynamic markets in the world.

After graduation, I began working for a small German consultancy in South China, facilitating effective dialogue between German state governments and their Chinese provincial counterparts, oftentimes in the forms of trade delegations and matchmaking services. Two years later, I joined a larger corporate advisory firm with several technical teams offering strategic and compliance-related work for foreign investors across pan-Asia.

While advising enterprises from all over the world on how to do business in Asia, I’ve experienced first-hand the many hurdles that hamper sustainable growth. Whether those are market entry restrictions, a lack of regulatory transparency, or simply cultural obstacles, international businesses require guidance and advocacy to succeed.

Through the Hinrich Foundation community, I hope to connect with leading experts of various industries and create new ideas and solutions on how to solve the issues that businesses in Asia face. The scholarship offers me, and subsequently our many client companies, a prospect to operate more strategically and efficiently.

In the long term, I believe that this program will have a profound impact on me and the cohort as a whole to reshape the business environment and development of the region.