Mai Kieu Lien, 58, CEO and chairwoman of Vinamilk – Vietnam 's largest dairy producer – is the only Vietnamese woman to be named among Asia 's 50 Most Powerful Businesswomen by Forbes magazine.

Lien said she was totally surprised and happy to hear the news, adding that this was something for all Vietnamese businesswomen to be proud of. She also said it recognises the contribution of businesswomen to Vietnam 's economic development.

According to Forbes magazine, women on the list were chosen for their hands-on management of profit-seeking companies, and many of the honoured have overcome significant barriers to get where they are today.

Lien was born in France and educated in Moscow . In 1976, she returned to Vietnam and joined Southern Milk&Cafe, Vinamilk's predecessor, helping to modernise the old State dairy collective. She became chairwoman after equitisation in 2003.

Last year, Vinamilk's turnover hit 1 billion USD. Its products were exported to 15 countries to fetch a record 130 million USD. With more than 170,000 retail points set up across the country, Vinamilk's powdered milk now holds a 30 percent market share, twice that of 2009.

In 2012, the company strives for annual growth of 30 percent, and it is continuing to diversify its product lines to meet increasing consumer demand.

Under its long-term development strategy, Vinamilk aims to become one of the 50 largest dairy businesses in the world, with 3 billion USD in turnover in 2017.

In 2010, Vinamilk also received the Forbes Asia's 2010 Best Enterprise award, among the Top 200 best enterprises in Asia .-VNA