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  -  Business   -  ASEAN market opportunities and updates, with a focus on Vietnam
An image of the Hanoi cityscape
South East Asia Centre of Asia Pacific Excellence (CAPE) and ExportNZ present: ASEAN market opportunities and updates, with a focus on Vietnam

16 November 2021

Join us for our first ASEAN-focused breakfast. ASEAN’s economic importance to New Zealand is growing, and it is now our country’s fourth largest trading partner.

The 11 countries of ASEAN are: Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Timor-Leste

Within the ASEAN region, as one of Southeast Asia’s fastest growing economies, Vietnam is dynamic and bursting with potential.  Despite Covid-19, Vietnam’s GDP growth in 2020 reached 2.9% (one of the few economies with positive growth in 2020), and it is projected to maintain at 6.5% in 2021 (IMF 2021).  Vietnam also ranks 12th out of 66 emerging markets in terms of its financial strength.

Beyond the attractive economic statistics, Vietnam also presents various opportunities due to its manufacturing capacity and skillsets, strategic location being next to China, strengthening institutional and regulatory framework that encourages foreign participation and production of intellectual property, a large consumer market of more than 97 million with a median age of 32.

In this breakfast session, a panel of four industry leaders will share their experience, observations and advice on the opportunities and challenges for Kiwi entrepreneurs and managers wanting to explore the economy, diverse culture and ways of doing business particularly in Vietnam and the various ASEAN countries.

7:30 am - 10:00 am
Tuesday 14 December 2021
Tait Technology Centre
245 Wooldridge Road Harewood CHRISTCHURCH 8051
This breakfast will be adhering to the current social distancing and COVID-19 Level 2 requirements, to ensure a safe environment.

Hear from our experts on:

  • An overview of the ASEAN markets, how they are moving forward post Covid and export opportunities
  • What you need to know about ASEAN digital platforms with a focus on Vietnam
  • The dos and don’ts and opportunities of utilising digital in Vietnam to enhance or create sales, is this for you
  • Potential Tech market opportunities in Vietnam
  • Connecting to Vietnam distributors, what you need to know as part of your market entry strategy
  • A local exporters experience in working with ASEAN countries, what is working, challenges and opportunities

This will be an interactive breakfast with time to engage with other local businesses, learn about the potential of ASEAN and Vietnam, the challenges and opportunities and ask questions of the four expert presenters.


Ziena Jalil – Independent Director | Strategic Consultant | Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advocate
Ziena is a facilitator and commentator on a range of topics including business, diversity and inclusion, nation branding, leadership and politics.  She consults on strategy and stakeholder engagement, helping some of New Zealand’s largest business build their reputation and revenue. Ziena is the recipient of several international awards for her work promoting New Zealand trade and education in Asia.

Mitchell Pham – Director | CodeHQ
Mitchell is the Director of CodeHQ (formerly Augen) in New Zealand and Vietnam, and co-founder of the Kiwi Connection Tech Hub – a platform for New Zealand technology businesses to accelerate presence and engagement in Southeast Asia.  As an advisor to a number of organisations; Smart Links Swiss, NZTE, the Asia New Zealand Foundation, Mitchell currently serves as Chair of the Digital Council of Aotearoa NZ (DCANZ) and is the co-founder of the NZ Health IT Cluster and the Global InsurTech Alliance.  Internationally recognised in leadership as a World Class New Zealander by KEA and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, Mitchell has contributed his skills and leadership to organisations in the areas of welfare and social responsibility.

Khoa Nguyen – Independent Director | Managing Director | Viet River Holdings
Khoa is a proud New Zealand citizen of 31 years with deep Vietnamese roots and heritage and is an Independent Director and Managing Director of Viet River Holdings Limited.  As a seasoned professional and entrepreneur executive with deep expertise and substantial experience in financial leadership and commercial effectiveness, Khoa has been working alongside the Boards of Directors, Chief Executives and Senior Leadership teams as a trusted advisor with exposure to a wide range of sectors and organisations for over 15 years.  Khoa was the Vietnam Chapter Chair of the ASEAN New Zealand Business Council for over 10 years and brings expertise in trading with the ASEAN market and best commercial practice in a trans-border cultural environment. His company, Viet River Holdings Ltd specialises in creating and connecting business links between New Zealand and Vietnam. Khoa helps organisations enter ASEAN, especially the Vietnam market, providing commercial linkages and forming high network relationships for a wide range of businesses and enterprises.

Ben Reed – Managing Director | Hamilton Jet
Founded in 1939 by Kiwi Industrialist Sir William Hamilton, HamiltonJet is the world’s leading manufacturer (by market share) of waterjets and vessel control systems in the commercial and military space.  Today it employs over 440 people in six countries: 350 people are based in it’s Global Head Office in Christchurch, where all design, development, manufacturing and business functions reside, plus three regional offices with staff in Singapore, London and Seattle. These support 55 distributors across the globe with parts, sales and service support. Some 97% of products are exported, with customers all over the world.

Ben is a mechanical engineer from the United Kingdom, now leading New Zealand-based waterjet manufacturer HamiltonJet as Managing Director.  Eight years ago, Ben was approached by HamiltonJet in New Zealand, to lead its new product development activities.  Within three years, Ben was appointed to lead the business.

Professor Siah Hwee Ang – Moderator | MCProfessor Siah Hwee Ang is the Director of the New Zealand’s Southeast Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence. He is also Professor of International Business and Strategy and the inaugural Chair in Business in Asia at Victoria University of Wellington, working closely with various stakeholders and companies on their strategies in Asia and Asia’s engagement in New Zealand.  Beyond publishing in international top journals and an expert in strategy, competition and international business, Siah sits on the national assessment panels for New Zealand Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia, Prime Minister’s Business Scholarships, and Marsden Fund. Before joining Victoria University of Wellington, Siah was Professor in Strategy and Associate Dean Postgraduate and International (Asia) at the University of Auckland Business School, a research fellow at Cass Business School, City University in London and the National University of Singapore, where he completed his PhD in Management.

With a focus on strengthening engagement with the Southeast Asia region, the Southeast Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence (Southeast Asia CAPE) supports New Zealand businesses, exporters, educators, young people, government agencies and others to improve understanding of the ASEAN countries and build knowledge of their economies, languages, cultures and business protocols.