Businessman Nguyen Ngoc My: ‘I want to help domestic businesses trade, investment cooperation worldwide…’

The man before me has a rugged appearance and a resolute face, despite his rare age. By sharing his years of working hard in the market, listeners will feel the same fire of passion for business as this overseas Vietnamese-Australian businessman in his youth. He is Nguyen Ngoc My – Chairman of the Board of Directors of VABIS Group.

Mr. Nguyen Ngoc My spoke at the Vietnam-Australia investment seminar.
Mr. Nguyen Ngoc My spoke at the Vietnam-Australia investment seminar.

After a long time in Australia, in 1992, you returned at the call of the State and Government of Viet Nam. Please share the successful activities and initiatives in investment projects in construction, vocational training, sports and entertainment… of VABIS in Viet Nam over the past 31 years?

My partners and I founded VABIS Group in 1993, formerly Vietnam-Australia Construction Technology Services Company Limited. Over the past 31 years, VABIS has participated in main activities such as project completion, electricity and water system construction, interior decoration, vocational training, sports and entertainment… The Group has invested in and participated in many large construction projects in Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Tinh, Da Nang and Lam Dong. Some typical projects include the Landmark building, the Australian Consulate General in the HCM City, Saigon Center, Phu Tho Racecourse, the Australian Embassy in Ha Noi, and the Sheraton Hanoi Hotel…

In 2000, we established SES Sports Services and Entertainment Competition company, and for the first time, dog racing was introduced in Viet Nam, and the renovation and upgrading of Lam Son Stadium – Vung Tau became a modern Greyhound Racetrack under Australian standards. In 2002, SMS Sports Marketing Software Company in Ho Chi Minh City was established and put into operation. I am very proud because this company has rare and unique software in Viet Nam and the world. Currently, the company manages and processes data for partners globally, with more than 20 types of sports betting, including 14-17 thousand sports matches per month, with a total revenue of approximately 22 billion USD/year.

In addition, VABIS Group also operates in many other fields, such as real estate projects, resort tourism, vocational training, and making significant contributions to national construction and development.

Hoa Tien project invested by VABIS Group.
Hoa Tien project invested by VABIS Group.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, investment activities in Viet Nam of VABIS Group and many overseas investors were affected. In your opinion, what policies should the State and Government of Vietnam have to call overseas Vietnamese investors to pour capital into Viet Nam continuously? As Vice Chairman of the Association of Foreign Investment Enterprises (VAFIE), what wishes do you have to express?

Over the past 30 years, the State and Government have had many favourable policies for overseas Vietnamese investors, especially in Resolution 36. In particular, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has tried connecting and calling for overseas Vietnamese investors’ patriotism to invest in building the homeland. In reality, there are many overseas Vietnamese returning home, but what and when will they do, there needs to be more attention from governments at all levels.

I have held many positions, namely Chairman of the Overseas Vietnamese Business Club (OV Club), and vice president of the Business Association of Overseas Vietnamese (BAOOV) for two consecutive terms. Currently, I am focusing on the role of Vice President of the Viet Nam Association of Foreign Investment Enterprises (VAFIE), which the Ministry of Planning and Investment manages. Through that, I have shared experiences, strategic direction, investment fields, and product sales, creating a playground for overseas Vietnamese to mobilize their abilities and aspirations. For example, when landing at Vietnam airport, they had to be very confident about who they would meet, where to plant the seeds, and how to invest effectively…

My advice to overseas Vietnamese is that in addition to loving their country and investing in their homeland, it is best to join VAFIE. VAFIE will support and advise on policies, procedures, investment and business orientation to grasp investment legal issues and others. From there, they will know how to quickly connect which ministries and departments to implement.

I wish to have a “Handbook to guide overseas Vietnamese when returning home to invest”, including a list of projects and areas to invest in, the ability to access additional capital, market information, competitors and supply chains, administrative procedures, suggested partners and consulting units in different fields… The State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese – SCOV should coordinate with ministries, branches, or VAFIE to perform on this matter.

Do you have any more orientations and plans for domestic and foreign businesses to build and develop the country jointly?

I am also the Chairman of the Northern Territory – Vietnam Business Council (NT-VBC). This position helps me combine businesses from overseas Vietnamese and foreign countries, Northern Australia in particular and Australia in general, to invest in Vietnam. At the same time, it helps Vietnamese businesses cooperate and invest in Australia. I act as a bridge, creating warehouse, distribution, business facilities… and cooperative ventures at the ratio of 7-3, 4-6 or 6-4, depending on each party’s investment capital and aspirations.

Recently, I have invested more than 1,000 hectares on the outskirts of Northern Australia’s capital, Darwin, in cow farms, cattle slaughterhouses, factories, logistics, construction material warehouses, tourism infrastructure, and showrooms… as a foundation to support investment cooperation between Vietnamese and Australian businesses. This pilot model helps to connect domestic businesses with overseas companies in the host country, create distribution systems, and penetrate the market. This model dramatically needs support from diplomatic and Vietnamese trade offices in host countries interested in researching, promoting, and replicating if successful.

As Vice President of VAFIE, I want to help domestic businesses trade, cooperate, and invest abroad through the overseas business network system, starting with a pilot model in Darwin.

Thank you very much!

Mr. Nguyen Ngoc My, born in 1950 in Huong Khe district, Ha Tinh, is well known as the Chairman of VABIS Group with more than 15 companies headquartered in Vietnam and Laos and Australia. He is the VAFIE Vice Chairman and the head of the Ho Chi Minh City Representative Office.