Austal CEO: Australian firms see great chance to do successful business in Vietnam hinh anh 1Austal CEO Patrick Gregg (Photo: VNA)

Sydney (VNA) -
Australian businesses will have a great chance to be successful with their business in Vietnam once they embrace and respect the local culture, treat Vietnamese workforce with respect, and speak a little slower than they do at home, said Austal CEO Patrick Gregg.

In a recent interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Sydney on the shipbuilding group's business in Vietnam and the country’s business environment, he said “My suggestion to any Australian business considering setting up in Vietnam would be to do their homework well, reach out to the relevant provincial People’s Committee for support as well as Auscham Vietnam and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of Australia”. 

They should start with a small but skilled expat base, preferably experienced with Vietnamese or Asian cultures and surround them with a key Vietnamese management team that have solid English language skills, both written and spoken, and are well versed in the legislative requirements applicable to their area of expertise, he noted.

He also praised Vietnamese workers, saying they are very conscious in regards to safety and environmental issues but practises do vary widely across industries, and are capable of working to very high standards.

Regarding Austal Vietnam’s operation during the hard year of 2020, Patrick Gregg said while some countries have been affected by COVID-19 worse than others, in Vietnam, the company enjoyed a relatively uninterrupted year due to solid Government policy and a disciplined and supportive response from the Vietnamese population.

However, it still encountered some problems as a result of travel restrictions and lack of flight availability once travel restrictions eased, he noted. 

About Austal’s plan to develop business in Vietnam after the signing of an MOU between Western Australia and Ba Ria - Vung Tau province, the CEO said that the MoU signing is another significant step forward in Australian Vietnamese relations and while COVID-19 has dampened global markets across all sectors.

“We look forward to a resurgence of business activity in mid to late 2021. In this circumstance we are very hopeful that with the continued support of the Ba Ria Vung Tau People’s Committee, we will be well placed to capitalise on any opportunities that may arise,” according to him.

Currently Austal Vietnam has 323 staff at its facility in Dong Xuyen Port of Vung Tau, which is slightly up from the figure of 318 employed in October 2019.   During its first two years of operation, it has provided intern opportunities for 24 naval architects from the University of Transportation and Communication - Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang University of Technology, Ba Ria-Vung Tau University, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, and Nha Trang University.

In addition, it has also provided shipbuilding training opportunities for 46 trainees./.