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Coca Cola joins locals in Đà Nẵng in “For a Việt Nam without Waste” programme

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ĐÀ NẴNG – Coca-Cola Vietnam, in partnership with Đà Nẵng City, has launched a “For a Việt Nam without Waste” event in the city’s Liên Chiểu District.

The event, joined by representatives from agencies and the local community, is one of the activities organised by Coca-Cola Vietnam and local authorities in Đà Nẵng and HCM City under the “World Without a Waste” vision. 

Collecting waste along the beach is among the programme’s primary activities. Photo Coca-Cola Việt Nam

With many activities over a half-day, the “For a Vietnam Without Waste” event aims to raise public awareness of waste sorting, encourage people to use reusable bags, and promote a green lifestyle and sustainable production and consumption.

Coca-Cola Vietnam handed Đà Nẵng Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Industry and Trade 90 segregation trash bins and 4,000 reusable bags, worth VNĐ700 million.

The in-kind sponsorship will help the local authority propagate the new environmental protection law.

To attract families and young people to join hands to collect plastic waste for recycling purposes, the event encourages attendees to bring used plastic bottles to exchange for their favourite Coca-Cola products.

These bottles and cans collected at the event will then be hand-made into lanterns for local underprivileged children, thanks to the Women Union and the Youth Union of Hòa Minh Ward.

Attendees can also enjoy an exhibition of winning projects in “A New Life of Waste” contest finale, where the most outstanding and practical recycling ideas are demonstrated.

Dat Maniac Rapper also joins this event to share his new project collecting waste and music CDs and spreading good vibes to environmentalists.  

To “Refresh the world,” Coca-Cola Vietnam has pursued sustainable development and comprehensive growth for almost 30 years.

“We hope that the ‘For a Vietnam Without Waste’ event can contribute to the joint effort of Đà Nẵng and HCM City authorities to raise more awareness and build sustainable consumption habits for the community.

We will continue to accompany these cities’ governments to promote collection and recycling activities locally and nationwide,” said Peeyush Sharma, Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam Limited.

Lê Thế Nhân, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee Liên Chiểu District, said: “Plastic waste is a collective issue to be solved collectively by the community.  Therefore, we acknowledge and welcome Coca-Cola Vietnam’s efforts to protect the Đà Nẵng living environment through practical initiatives like today’s event.”

“This is an excellent example of how public and private sectors together can raise public awareness and call for good action to make Đà Nẵng the most worth-living place in the country, and a city without waste.”

The event “For a Vietnam without Waste” is the latest initiative toward a World Without Waste vision of the Coca-Cola Company.

From the vision announced in 2018, Coca-Cola set ambitious goals to make its packaging 100 per cent recyclable globally by 2025, use at least 50 per cent recycled material in its packaging by 2030, and collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle it sells globally by 2030. VNS 

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/events/coca-cola-joins-locals-in-da-nang-infor-aviet-nam-without-waste-programme_336453.html

Your Vietnam

Ex-diplomats start businesses in Vietnam

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Following their tenure as foreign ambassadors to Vietnam, two diplomats have chosen to launch businesses in Vietnam, taking advantage of the Southeast Asian country’s dynamic startup scene.

Former French Ambassador to Vietnam Jean-Noël Poirier and former New Zealand Ambassador Haike Manning both served in Vietnam from 2012 to 2016 – a tenure which left such an impression on each of them that they both chose to stay in the country following their ambassadorships.

Ex-ambassador’s laundromat service 

Former French Ambassador to Vietnam Jean-Noël Poirier left diplomatic service following his term in Vietnam, but he didn’t choose to leave the country.  

Instead, he opened three laundromats in Hanoi, one of which managed to stay open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic while the other two only recently reopened following financial hardship brought about by the coronavirus.

But laundromats are just a side hustle for Porier.

When he’s not busy making sure Hanoians have clean clothes, he manages a foreign investment consulting business in the Southeast Asian country.

While the pandemic essentially put a hold on foreign investment in Vietnam, the country’s rapid economic recovery has signaled to foreign businesses that Vietnam still has significant long-term development potential, particularly now that COVID-19 has led to dozens of countries shifting their manufacturing bases away from China and into Vietnam.

According to Poirier, Vietnam’s investment potential is heighted by two key factors: the government of Vietnam is particularly interested in foreign companies, and the business climate is very welcoming and encouraging.

Poirier also noted that safety and peace of mind for long-term business in Vietnam are the top priorities for international investors, and the Vietnamese government has done a good job of setting investors at ease by enforcing a tough anti-epidemic policy and taking numerous measures to support the growth of the local business environment.

Such growth and potential are Porier’s main inspiration for staying in Vietnam following his tenure as a diplomat.

“I wanted to participate in [Vietnam’s] progress,”  he explained.

Former French Ambassador to Vietnam Jean-Noel Poirier – Photo: Supplied
Former French Ambassador to Vietnam Jean-Noel Poirier. Photo: Supplied

Porier juxtaposed the business environments in Europe and Asia, explaining that, for the past 20 years, the business environment in Europe has been in decline, with economic downturn, unemployment, the closure of businesses and factories, and the relocation of businesses to Asia being serious concerns.

In comparison, Vietnam’s business environment is upbeat and maintains a culture that is relatively welcoming to outsiders, provided they adhere to the adage “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

Porier explained that the transition from diplomat to entrepreneur was difficult for him, but support from his Vietnamese acquaintances eased the burden.

Improving access to education

October 2022 was the 10th anniversary of Haike Manning and his family moving to Vietnam.

The last six of those years were spent in Ho Chi Minh City, while the first four, from 2012 to 2016, were spent in Hanoi where Manning served as the New Zealand ambassador to Vietnam.

“I always intended to stay here in Vietnam. We were quite well settled and had a really good network in Hanoi, but Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s commercial hub and the idea of moving to Ho Chi Minh City to start a new Vietnam life was interesting.

“We are happy here, I think it’s because me, my wife, and my son, have found our place in doing different things,” Haike shared.

Haike Manning, former New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam from 2012 to 2016. Photo: Tran Tien Dung / Tuoi Tre
Haike Manning, former New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam from 2012 to 2016. Photo: Tran Tien Dung / Tuoi Tre

Hanoi has undergone immense change since Haike and his family first moved to the city in 2012.

The capital’s new roads and bridges are both particularly distinct signs of its growth over the past decade. 

Haike now operates a company that focuses on education. Specifically, he manages the company’s operations across Southeast Asia.

As part of this job, he often travels to Malaysia – an experience he says has opened his eyes to how impressed the international community is with Vietnam’s growth and how fearful countries like Malaysia are of losing the development advantages they have over Vietnam.

“Vietnam is becoming more connected with the world, especially in education, where the number of students going abroad each year continues to grow.

“Around 200,000 Vietnamese students are studying abroad, and there are more and more international programs being delivered in Vietnam,” Haike said.

Haike sees the country’s development through the lens of education and, in his view, has done a fantastic job of providing education to every Vietnamese citizen and opening the doors to higher education for a large proportion of the population.

However, there are areas where the government does fall short, and that’s where international partnerships and collaboration in education come in.

In Haike’s view, Vietnam can continue to advance its education system by developing greater international connections and continuing to create more accessible education.

With more and more international education programs coming to Vietnam, there is less pressure for Vietnamese students to study abroad and more opportunities for lower-income families.  

“Improving access through digital and online education, and improving quality of education through international connections, are two important things that factor into increases in the quality of education over time.

Haike Manning (left) and the New Zealand Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City Joseph Nelson attended an event at Manning’s office. Photo: Supplied
Haike Manning (left) and the New Zealand Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City Joseph Nelson attended an event at Manning’s office. Photo: Supplied

“My personal view is that bringing international education to Vietnam is going to create much bigger opportunities for everyone. Not only have we increased access to education for families, but we have also supported improving the capacity of local institutions,” Haike said. 

Data from a survey carried out by Haike’s company showed that Vietnamese parents spent significantly more on their childrens’ education compared to parents in other Southeast Asian countries.

International education institutions also tend to favor Vietnamese students.

Vietnamese students are often academically strong, but they’re also often quite open to embracing the culture overseas.

However, for young people to reach their full potential, Haike believes Vietnamese students need to focus on life skills. 

“It’s one thing to know a lot about engineering, computer science, economics, or finance, but to really thrive in the world that we live in now, you need to have soft skills as well. You need to invest in building your communication and interpersonal skills so that you can form good relationships across cultures.

“Figuring out how to work on a team, how to lead people, and how to analyze and apply critical thinking is absolutely essential,” Haike explained.

In Vietnam, talented young people are the country’s assets. It is important for Vietnam to keep the economy growing and provide conditions that are attractive enough so even when Vietnamese students can go overseas, to Australia or Canada, and eventually return home.

“They come back because they can see more opportunities here and we have started to see that trend in our recent market surveys. We’re starting to see that, increasingly, families are saying there are really good chances here in Vietnam now. Ten years ago, there weren’t the same set of opportunities,” Haike said.

Like us on Facebook or  follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Following their tenure as foreign ambassadors to Vietnam, two diplomats have chosen to launch businesses in Vietnam, taking advantage of the Southeast Asian country’s dynamic startup scene.

Former French Ambassador to Vietnam Jean-Noël Poirier and former New Zealand Ambassador Haike Manning both served in Vietnam from 2012 to 2016 – a tenure which left such an impression on each of them that they both chose to stay in the country following their ambassadorships.

Ex-ambassador’s laundromat service 

Former French Ambassador to Vietnam Jean-Noël Poirier left diplomatic service following his term in Vietnam, but he didn’t choose to leave the country.  

Instead, he opened three laundromats in Hanoi, one of which managed to stay open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic while the other two only recently reopened following financial hardship brought about by the coronavirus.

But laundromats are just a side hustle for Porier.

When he’s not busy making sure Hanoians have clean clothes, he manages a foreign investment consulting business in the Southeast Asian country.

While the pandemic essentially put a hold on foreign investment in Vietnam, the country’s rapid economic recovery has signaled to foreign businesses that Vietnam still has significant long-term development potential, particularly now that COVID-19 has led to dozens of countries shifting their manufacturing bases away from China and into Vietnam.

According to Poirier, Vietnam’s investment potential is heighted by two key factors: the government of Vietnam is particularly interested in foreign companies, and the business climate is very welcoming and encouraging.

Poirier also noted that safety and peace of mind for long-term business in Vietnam are the top priorities for international investors, and the Vietnamese government has done a good job of setting investors at ease by enforcing a tough anti-epidemic policy and taking numerous measures to support the growth of the local business environment.

Such growth and potential are Porier’s main inspiration for staying in Vietnam following his tenure as a diplomat.

“I wanted to participate in [Vietnam’s] progress,”  he explained.

Former French Ambassador to Vietnam Jean-Noel Poirier – Photo: Supplied
Former French Ambassador to Vietnam Jean-Noel Poirier. Photo: Supplied

Porier juxtaposed the business environments in Europe and Asia, explaining that, for the past 20 years, the business environment in Europe has been in decline, with economic downturn, unemployment, the closure of businesses and factories, and the relocation of businesses to Asia being serious concerns.

In comparison, Vietnam’s business environment is upbeat and maintains a culture that is relatively welcoming to outsiders, provided they adhere to the adage “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

Porier explained that the transition from diplomat to entrepreneur was difficult for him, but support from his Vietnamese acquaintances eased the burden.

Improving access to education

October 2022 was the 10th anniversary of Haike Manning and his family moving to Vietnam.

The last six of those years were spent in Ho Chi Minh City, while the first four, from 2012 to 2016, were spent in Hanoi where Manning served as the New Zealand ambassador to Vietnam.

“I always intended to stay here in Vietnam. We were quite well settled and had a really good network in Hanoi, but Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s commercial hub and the idea of moving to Ho Chi Minh City to start a new Vietnam life was interesting.

“We are happy here, I think it’s because me, my wife, and my son, have found our place in doing different things,” Haike shared.

Haike Manning, former New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam from 2012 to 2016. Photo: Tran Tien Dung / Tuoi Tre
Haike Manning, former New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam from 2012 to 2016. Photo: Tran Tien Dung / Tuoi Tre

Hanoi has undergone immense change since Haike and his family first moved to the city in 2012.

The capital’s new roads and bridges are both particularly distinct signs of its growth over the past decade. 

Haike now operates a company that focuses on education. Specifically, he manages the company’s operations across Southeast Asia.

As part of this job, he often travels to Malaysia – an experience he says has opened his eyes to how impressed the international community is with Vietnam’s growth and how fearful countries like Malaysia are of losing the development advantages they have over Vietnam.

“Vietnam is becoming more connected with the world, especially in education, where the number of students going abroad each year continues to grow.

“Around 200,000 Vietnamese students are studying abroad, and there are more and more international programs being delivered in Vietnam,” Haike said.

Haike sees the country’s development through the lens of education and, in his view, has done a fantastic job of providing education to every Vietnamese citizen and opening the doors to higher education for a large proportion of the population.

However, there are areas where the government does fall short, and that’s where international partnerships and collaboration in education come in.

In Haike’s view, Vietnam can continue to advance its education system by developing greater international connections and continuing to create more accessible education.

With more and more international education programs coming to Vietnam, there is less pressure for Vietnamese students to study abroad and more opportunities for lower-income families.  

“Improving access through digital and online education, and improving quality of education through international connections, are two important things that factor into increases in the quality of education over time.

Haike Manning (left) and the New Zealand Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City Joseph Nelson attended an event at Manning’s office. Photo: Supplied
Haike Manning (left) and the New Zealand Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City Joseph Nelson attended an event at Manning’s office. Photo: Supplied

“My personal view is that bringing international education to Vietnam is going to create much bigger opportunities for everyone. Not only have we increased access to education for families, but we have also supported improving the capacity of local institutions,” Haike said. 

Data from a survey carried out by Haike’s company showed that Vietnamese parents spent significantly more on their childrens’ education compared to parents in other Southeast Asian countries.

International education institutions also tend to favor Vietnamese students.

Vietnamese students are often academically strong, but they’re also often quite open to embracing the culture overseas.

However, for young people to reach their full potential, Haike believes Vietnamese students need to focus on life skills. 

“It’s one thing to know a lot about engineering, computer science, economics, or finance, but to really thrive in the world that we live in now, you need to have soft skills as well. You need to invest in building your communication and interpersonal skills so that you can form good relationships across cultures.

“Figuring out how to work on a team, how to lead people, and how to analyze and apply critical thinking is absolutely essential,” Haike explained.

In Vietnam, talented young people are the country’s assets. It is important for Vietnam to keep the economy growing and provide conditions that are attractive enough so even when Vietnamese students can go overseas, to Australia or Canada, and eventually return home.

“They come back because they can see more opportunities here and we have started to see that trend in our recent market surveys. We’re starting to see that, increasingly, families are saying there are really good chances here in Vietnam now. Ten years ago, there weren’t the same set of opportunities,” Haike said.

Like us on Facebook or  follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/features/20230123/exdiplomats-start-businesses-in-vietnam/71075.html

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Vietnamese drones land in world market

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Vietnamese developers recently brought ‘Hera’ – an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by a Vietnamese startup – on a tour in the U.S. where they showed potential partners just how impressive Vietnamese tech had become.

Despite it being small enough to fit into a backpack, Hera can carry up to 15 kilograms and be assembled in just a few minutes.

The very first order

Hera is the brainchild of Vietnamese engineer, Dr. Luong Viet Quoc, the founder and CEO of Vietnam-based RealTime Robotics Inc. (RtR).

Dr. Quoc and his team spent six years and hundreds of billions of Vietnamese dong developing Hera.

“It’s really excellent,” said JT Von Lunen, CEO of RMUS Inc. (the U.S.), who recently took Hera for a test flight in Colorado.

RMUS Inc. specializes in selling drones across the North American market.

Von Lunen shared that he was particularly impressed with Hera’s ability to carry such a heavy payload, as well as its hour-long flight capacity.

The Hera unmanned aerial vehicle is a multi-purpose drone. Photo: CT / Tuoi Tre
The Hera unmanned aerial vehicle is a multi-purpose drone. Photo: C.T. / Tuoi Tre

Given RAMUS’s experience in testing some of the best drones from around the world, Von Lunen’s praise for Hera is a testament that Vietnamese tech is capable of hanging with traditional global powerhouses.

RAMUS first developed a relationship with RtR after the two partnered to develop hardware and software for a specialized camera that could detect oil and gas leaks. 

When RtR was ready to deliver the camera, they used it as an opportunity to unveil Hera.

RAMUS was so impressed with Hera that they signed a US$500,000 contract to serve as RtR’s distributor for Hera drones, each of which sells for $58,000 (VND1.4 billion). 

The first product shipment RtR made to RAMUS was during the final days of 2022.

Dr. Luong Viet Quoc and Hera. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Dr. Luong Viet Quoc and Hera. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Made in Vietnam

RtR is headquartered at Saigon Hi-tech Park in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City.

The RtR team, which includes about 60 engineers, is split between departments that specialize in R&D, invention, machinery, and AI.

Phi Duy Quang, RtR’s chief mechanical engineer, shared that most of Hera’s mechanical details were developed by the company’s young team of engineers, including its compact frame that folds when in the air and can support such heavy weight.

Of course, this success wasn’t without failure, and the team rejected dozens of prototypes before setting on their current designs for Hera.

The team at RtR also developed the batteries used by Hera in order to ensure the UAV could boast a longer flight time than drones operated by batteries currently available on the global market.

Currently, Hera can stay in the air for about an hour and travel up to 15 kilometers carrying its full payload of 15 kilograms.

Still, Dr. Quoc’s team has plans to continue making improvements to its intelligence and underlying software.

“By programming the software ourselves, we can control [Hera’s] quality and technology. We set the primary and ultimate goal of creating a leading Vietnamese product, so we do not copy what currently exists,” explained Dr. Quoc, adding that the flexibility of the drone’s current software allows it to be used for a variety of tasks, from geography to defense-related projects, as well as rescue and relief missions.

Dr. Quoc pointed to the case of Vietship 01 as a possible use for drones like Hera. 

Vietship 01 found itself stuck in the mouth of the Cua Viet River in the central coastal province of Quang Tri in 2020.

Had rescuers had a drone like Hera, it would have made it much easier to support both the rescue team and the crew trapped on the ship as they battled the river’s violent waves, particularly given the drone’s ability to fly in strong winds, as well as to transport fresh water and food.

The drone is also equipped with a loudspeaker and flashlight so that rescuers and victims can communicate in real time.

RtR considers it a priority to make high quality Vietnamese products. Photo: CT / Tuoi Tre
RtR considers it a priority to make high quality Vietnamese products. Photo: C.T. / Tuoi Tre

2023: a milestone

Startups often face challenges in terms of finances, personnel, products, and sales. Many even reach the point where they are ready to launch commercially but wind up failing simply because they can’t compete with those who already hold significant market share.

In order to keep his own dream alive, Dr. Quoc has spent more than VND100 billion ($4.2 million) and even sold his own house to ensure his RtR remains funded.

He also convinced friends and family to fund RtR by touting its made-in-Vietnam provenance.

“Launching [Hera] has still been comparatively cheap because it has only cost one-tenth of what it would have been in the U.S.,” Dr. Quoc said.

“If we had established the company in America, we would have spent no less than $50 million, and it would not have been certain that we would have developed such a desirable product.”

Ensuring adequate human talent has also been difficult for Dr. Quoc and RtR.

“We have the opportunity to find other jobs with higher pay, but we stay at RtR because we can freely pursue our own passion for creativity,” said Tran Quang Khoi, leader of RtR’s AI team.

According to Dr. Quoc, his investors are not investing in his company, but also his young talent.  He also sees these investments as investments in Vietnam itself.

“In 2023, Vietnamese people will be proud that RtR put the Vietnamese national flag on the world map of drones,” Dr. Quoc said.

“Right now, I feel relaxed and happy because we are on the right track and have already received orders. I believe we will take off in 2023.”

Ambition and enthusiasm

Over the past 20 years ago, Dr. Quoc’s innovation has been featured in Tuoi Tre (Youth) articles – “Xanh tu nhung dong kenh den” (Being green from black channels, July 12, 2002) and “Luong Viet Quoc va 8 hoc bong dao tao tien si tai My” (Luong Viet Quoc and 8 doctoral fellowships in the U.S., July 30, 2014).

Dr. Quoc’s educational pedigree includes a Fulbright scholarship, a master’s degree from Cornell College, and a doctorate at UC Berkeley.

After working in the U.S. for several years, Dr. Luong Viet Quoc decided to return to his hometown.

Now, at the age of 57, he feels younger than ever and ready to take on the world.

Like us on Facebook or  follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Vietnamese developers recently brought ‘Hera’ – an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by a Vietnamese startup – on a tour in the U.S. where they showed potential partners just how impressive Vietnamese tech had become.

Despite it being small enough to fit into a backpack, Hera can carry up to 15 kilograms and be assembled in just a few minutes.

The very first order

Hera is the brainchild of Vietnamese engineer, Dr. Luong Viet Quoc, the founder and CEO of Vietnam-based RealTime Robotics Inc. (RtR).

Dr. Quoc and his team spent six years and hundreds of billions of Vietnamese dong developing Hera.

“It’s really excellent,” said JT Von Lunen, CEO of RMUS Inc. (the U.S.), who recently took Hera for a test flight in Colorado.

RMUS Inc. specializes in selling drones across the North American market.

Von Lunen shared that he was particularly impressed with Hera’s ability to carry such a heavy payload, as well as its hour-long flight capacity.

The Hera unmanned aerial vehicle is a multi-purpose drone. Photo: CT / Tuoi Tre
The Hera unmanned aerial vehicle is a multi-purpose drone. Photo: C.T. / Tuoi Tre

Given RAMUS’s experience in testing some of the best drones from around the world, Von Lunen’s praise for Hera is a testament that Vietnamese tech is capable of hanging with traditional global powerhouses.

RAMUS first developed a relationship with RtR after the two partnered to develop hardware and software for a specialized camera that could detect oil and gas leaks. 

When RtR was ready to deliver the camera, they used it as an opportunity to unveil Hera.

RAMUS was so impressed with Hera that they signed a US$500,000 contract to serve as RtR’s distributor for Hera drones, each of which sells for $58,000 (VND1.4 billion). 

The first product shipment RtR made to RAMUS was during the final days of 2022.

Dr. Luong Viet Quoc and Hera. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Dr. Luong Viet Quoc and Hera. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Made in Vietnam

RtR is headquartered at Saigon Hi-tech Park in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City.

The RtR team, which includes about 60 engineers, is split between departments that specialize in R&D, invention, machinery, and AI.

Phi Duy Quang, RtR’s chief mechanical engineer, shared that most of Hera’s mechanical details were developed by the company’s young team of engineers, including its compact frame that folds when in the air and can support such heavy weight.

Of course, this success wasn’t without failure, and the team rejected dozens of prototypes before setting on their current designs for Hera.

The team at RtR also developed the batteries used by Hera in order to ensure the UAV could boast a longer flight time than drones operated by batteries currently available on the global market.

Currently, Hera can stay in the air for about an hour and travel up to 15 kilometers carrying its full payload of 15 kilograms.

Still, Dr. Quoc’s team has plans to continue making improvements to its intelligence and underlying software.

“By programming the software ourselves, we can control [Hera’s] quality and technology. We set the primary and ultimate goal of creating a leading Vietnamese product, so we do not copy what currently exists,” explained Dr. Quoc, adding that the flexibility of the drone’s current software allows it to be used for a variety of tasks, from geography to defense-related projects, as well as rescue and relief missions.

Dr. Quoc pointed to the case of Vietship 01 as a possible use for drones like Hera. 

Vietship 01 found itself stuck in the mouth of the Cua Viet River in the central coastal province of Quang Tri in 2020.

Had rescuers had a drone like Hera, it would have made it much easier to support both the rescue team and the crew trapped on the ship as they battled the river’s violent waves, particularly given the drone’s ability to fly in strong winds, as well as to transport fresh water and food.

The drone is also equipped with a loudspeaker and flashlight so that rescuers and victims can communicate in real time.

RtR considers it a priority to make high quality Vietnamese products. Photo: CT / Tuoi Tre
RtR considers it a priority to make high quality Vietnamese products. Photo: C.T. / Tuoi Tre

2023: a milestone

Startups often face challenges in terms of finances, personnel, products, and sales. Many even reach the point where they are ready to launch commercially but wind up failing simply because they can’t compete with those who already hold significant market share.

In order to keep his own dream alive, Dr. Quoc has spent more than VND100 billion ($4.2 million) and even sold his own house to ensure his RtR remains funded.

He also convinced friends and family to fund RtR by touting its made-in-Vietnam provenance.

“Launching [Hera] has still been comparatively cheap because it has only cost one-tenth of what it would have been in the U.S.,” Dr. Quoc said.

“If we had established the company in America, we would have spent no less than $50 million, and it would not have been certain that we would have developed such a desirable product.”

Ensuring adequate human talent has also been difficult for Dr. Quoc and RtR.

“We have the opportunity to find other jobs with higher pay, but we stay at RtR because we can freely pursue our own passion for creativity,” said Tran Quang Khoi, leader of RtR’s AI team.

According to Dr. Quoc, his investors are not investing in his company, but also his young talent.  He also sees these investments as investments in Vietnam itself.

“In 2023, Vietnamese people will be proud that RtR put the Vietnamese national flag on the world map of drones,” Dr. Quoc said.

“Right now, I feel relaxed and happy because we are on the right track and have already received orders. I believe we will take off in 2023.”

Ambition and enthusiasm

Over the past 20 years ago, Dr. Quoc’s innovation has been featured in Tuoi Tre (Youth) articles – “Xanh tu nhung dong kenh den” (Being green from black channels, July 12, 2002) and “Luong Viet Quoc va 8 hoc bong dao tao tien si tai My” (Luong Viet Quoc and 8 doctoral fellowships in the U.S., July 30, 2014).

Dr. Quoc’s educational pedigree includes a Fulbright scholarship, a master’s degree from Cornell College, and a doctorate at UC Berkeley.

After working in the U.S. for several years, Dr. Luong Viet Quoc decided to return to his hometown.

Now, at the age of 57, he feels younger than ever and ready to take on the world.

Like us on Facebook or  follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/features/20230122/vietnamese-drones-land-in-world-market/70990.html

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Vietnamese writer shares love of homeland in award-winning English-language book

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Perhaps the biggest turning point in Nguyen Phan Que Mai’s life was the morning she woke up to an email from her literary agent with an offer from Algonquin Books – a New York-based publisher – to publish her very first English-language novel “The Mountains Sing.”

A dream

Mai, originally from Ninh Binh Province in northern Vietnam, wrote “The Mountains Sing” as a way to spread Vietnamese literature and culture by recounting the story of a Vietnamese family’s journey through the twentieth century, including their trials and tribulations during the French Colonial period, the separation of the North and the South, the Vietnam War, and the present day.

Her inspiration for the novel was a deep frustration that language barriers were a major obstacle for international readers who wished to access Vietnamese literature. 

The books on Vietnam that English-language readers did have access to were primarily about the Vietnam War and written by Western writers who gave their Vietnamese characters little-to-no voice, using them mostly as background characters.

Mai also felt that Hollywood movies often depicted Vietnamese women as victims or “blank characters,” without the ability to make their own decisions.

For many years, Mai and various American poets such as Bruce Weigl, Jennifer Fossenbell, Hilary Watts, and Kwame Dawes have worked in tandem to translate Vietnamese poetry but their efforts picked up little traction, earning publications mostly in magazines and by small publishers with no budget for large promotion.

Don’t give up

The lack of English-language literature which gave Vietnamese characters a voice pushed Mai to write her stories in English as a means of promoting Vietnamese literature to Westerners in the true spirit of a Vietnamese national.

During the seven years Mai spent working on “The Mountains Sing,” she was forced to overcome several hurdles. 

First, she felt her English language proficiency was not up to par. 

She only started learning English in eighth grade and did not consider herself to be fully fluent. 

She also needed to find a literary agent that could connect her with reputable publishers that would actually take the time to read her work. 

She wound up sending her manuscript of “The Mountains Sing” to hundreds of literary agents, with many rejecting her using the line “we can’t find readers for your novel.”

Still, the urge to give Vietnam a voice on the global literary stage pushed her to continue her mission.  

Nguyen Phan Que Mai talks with students of Wellspring International Bilingual School in Ho Chi Minh City, April 25, 2022. Photo: Nguyen Phan Que Mai / Tuoi Tre
Nguyen Phan Que Mai talks with students of Wellspring International Bilingual School in Ho Chi Minh City, April 25, 2022. Photo: Nguyen Phan Que Mai / Tuoi Tre

Patience pays off

Taking advice from other international writers, Mai spent considerable time honing her writing skills while she patiently waited for a good publisher with a large distribution network and the budget and resources needed to promote her novel.

She enrolled in an online master’s program for creative writing and then a doctoral level in creative writing program at Lancaster University in the UK.

While Mai had published 12 books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and had received some of the top literary prizes in Vietnam, she had never actually taken a writing course.

She also began reading novels from all over the word. 

To Mai, writing became a full-time with a ten-hour daily commitment. 

She would spend this time writing in Vietnamese and allowing her feelings to grow and blossom before switching to English and, overtime, found that it helped her to revise her manuscript to become considerably more poetic.

She also became determined to find a traditional commercial publisher who was convinced by the story itself and was ready to invest seriously in its release.

Her patience and hard work paid off on March 7, 2017, when she received an email from Julie Stevenson, a literary agent with medium-sized literary agency Massie & McQuilkin in New York.

Stevenson said in the email that she had the opportunity to read Mai’s novel and was deeply moved. 

“The story covers many historical events in Vietnam and was written with a strong yet poetic voice and unforgettable characters,” Stevenson wrote in her email to Mai. 

“I don’t want to put it down for a second even though many of the details hurt me. 

“This novel is a remarkable achievement.”

Stevenson closed the email by agreeing to be Mai’s agent.

Stevenson then helped Mai create a list of more than 20 publishers to whom they could pitch “The Mountains Sing.”

Those publishers that showed interest were then sent the manuscript.

After dozens of rejections, Mai eventually received a message from Algonquin Books asking to negotiate a publishing deal.  

Nguyen Phan Que Mai meets her readers in Copenhagen, Denmark, October 27, 2022. Photo: Facebook Nguyen Phan Que Mai
Nguyen Phan Que Mai (C) meets her readers in Copenhagen, Denmark, October 27, 2022. Photo: Facebook Nguyen Phan Que Mai

Disrupted plan

Mai still remembers that it was 5:30 am on June 1, 2017 when she woke up in Brussels, Belgium to an email from Stevenson telling her that Algonquin Books had offered to publish “The Mountains Sing” in the U.S. and purchase the copyright for worldwide distribution.

After discussing the deal, Mai and Stevenson agreed to sign a publishing contract with Algonquin Books that same year.

Mai spent the next several months preparing for the book’s 2020 release.

However, the book launch trip to 14 cities prepared by Algonquin Books for nearly a year was canceled due to COVID-19.

Bookstores were closed and many readers complained that they ordered the book on Amazon but it was never delivered.

Around the world

Just when Mai began to feel that her writing career was being put on hold, articles about “The Mountains Sing” began appearing all over the media.

It turned out that Algonquin Books had printed and sent hundreds of proofreads to the press, critics, and close readers about six months earlier.

“The Mountains Sing” was introduced in major newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post, and important publications of the publishing industry such as Library Journal and Publishers Weekly.

Hundreds of reader reviews also shared their feelings about the book on social networks and reading sites.

Though the pandemic was battering the world with full force, Mai focused on remote advertising activities, such as writing articles about Agent Orange for the New York Times, speaking about writing skills on the Poets & Writers podcast, and discussing her motherland on the Literary Hub.

She also gave interviews, spoke about the book on many radio programs, and promoted the novel online and through talks with schools, book clubs, and libraries.

When the pandemic finally died down, “The Mountains Sing” earned its first international recognition – the 2021 Nonfiction Runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in the fiction category.

Nguyen Phan Que Mai meets her readers in Copenhagen, Denmark, October 27, 2022. Photo: Facebook Nguyen Phan Que Mai

Nguyen Phan Que Mai (R, 2nd) meets her readers in Copenhagen, Denmark, October 27, 2022. Photo: Facebook Nguyen Phan Que Mai

After attending the Dayton Literary Peace Prize award ceremony in Ohio in November 2021, Mai toured through 13 cities in the U.S. to promote the book.

It also won the 2020 BookBrowse Best Debut Award, the 2021 International Book Awards, the 2021 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, and the 2020 Lannan Literary Award Fellowship for Fiction.

It has since been translated into 14 languages and allowed Mai to tour the UK, Italy, France, Belgium, Denmark, Pakistan, and Vietnam. 

These trips not only allowed Mai to promote her book, but also to understand how international readers yearned for stories rich in national identity.

New English book

In addition to being an author, Mai’s advocacy for the rights of disadvantaged groups in Vietnam and her founding of several scholarship programs helped land her name amongst Forbes Vietnam’s 2021 list of 20 inspiring women.

Mai is preparing to release her second English novel “Dust Child,” which she has spent the past seven years to create since originally publishing the article Finding abandoned children in Vietnam in Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on September 6, 2015.

The article helped an American veteran find his loved ones and helped Mai realize that stories related to young mixed people and their families need more attention.

Stevenson and Algonquin Books will continue to accompany “Dust Child,” which is scheduled to be published in the U.S. on March 14 and has been copyrighted by Algonquin Books to 10 countries.

From March to May, Mai will visit more than 20 cities in the U.S., Canada, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia to meet her readers.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Perhaps the biggest turning point in Nguyen Phan Que Mai’s life was the morning she woke up to an email from her literary agent with an offer from Algonquin Books – a New York-based publisher – to publish her very first English-language novel “The Mountains Sing.”

A dream

Mai, originally from Ninh Binh Province in northern Vietnam, wrote “The Mountains Sing” as a way to spread Vietnamese literature and culture by recounting the story of a Vietnamese family’s journey through the twentieth century, including their trials and tribulations during the French Colonial period, the separation of the North and the South, the Vietnam War, and the present day.

Her inspiration for the novel was a deep frustration that language barriers were a major obstacle for international readers who wished to access Vietnamese literature. 

The books on Vietnam that English-language readers did have access to were primarily about the Vietnam War and written by Western writers who gave their Vietnamese characters little-to-no voice, using them mostly as background characters.

Mai also felt that Hollywood movies often depicted Vietnamese women as victims or “blank characters,” without the ability to make their own decisions.

For many years, Mai and various American poets such as Bruce Weigl, Jennifer Fossenbell, Hilary Watts, and Kwame Dawes have worked in tandem to translate Vietnamese poetry but their efforts picked up little traction, earning publications mostly in magazines and by small publishers with no budget for large promotion.

Don’t give up

The lack of English-language literature which gave Vietnamese characters a voice pushed Mai to write her stories in English as a means of promoting Vietnamese literature to Westerners in the true spirit of a Vietnamese national.

During the seven years Mai spent working on “The Mountains Sing,” she was forced to overcome several hurdles. 

First, she felt her English language proficiency was not up to par. 

She only started learning English in eighth grade and did not consider herself to be fully fluent. 

She also needed to find a literary agent that could connect her with reputable publishers that would actually take the time to read her work. 

She wound up sending her manuscript of “The Mountains Sing” to hundreds of literary agents, with many rejecting her using the line “we can’t find readers for your novel.”

Still, the urge to give Vietnam a voice on the global literary stage pushed her to continue her mission.  

Nguyen Phan Que Mai talks with students of Wellspring International Bilingual School in Ho Chi Minh City, April 25, 2022. Photo: Nguyen Phan Que Mai / Tuoi Tre
Nguyen Phan Que Mai talks with students of Wellspring International Bilingual School in Ho Chi Minh City, April 25, 2022. Photo: Nguyen Phan Que Mai / Tuoi Tre

Patience pays off

Taking advice from other international writers, Mai spent considerable time honing her writing skills while she patiently waited for a good publisher with a large distribution network and the budget and resources needed to promote her novel.

She enrolled in an online master’s program for creative writing and then a doctoral level in creative writing program at Lancaster University in the UK.

While Mai had published 12 books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and had received some of the top literary prizes in Vietnam, she had never actually taken a writing course.

She also began reading novels from all over the word. 

To Mai, writing became a full-time with a ten-hour daily commitment. 

She would spend this time writing in Vietnamese and allowing her feelings to grow and blossom before switching to English and, overtime, found that it helped her to revise her manuscript to become considerably more poetic.

She also became determined to find a traditional commercial publisher who was convinced by the story itself and was ready to invest seriously in its release.

Her patience and hard work paid off on March 7, 2017, when she received an email from Julie Stevenson, a literary agent with medium-sized literary agency Massie & McQuilkin in New York.

Stevenson said in the email that she had the opportunity to read Mai’s novel and was deeply moved. 

“The story covers many historical events in Vietnam and was written with a strong yet poetic voice and unforgettable characters,” Stevenson wrote in her email to Mai. 

“I don’t want to put it down for a second even though many of the details hurt me. 

“This novel is a remarkable achievement.”

Stevenson closed the email by agreeing to be Mai’s agent.

Stevenson then helped Mai create a list of more than 20 publishers to whom they could pitch “The Mountains Sing.”

Those publishers that showed interest were then sent the manuscript.

After dozens of rejections, Mai eventually received a message from Algonquin Books asking to negotiate a publishing deal.  

Nguyen Phan Que Mai meets her readers in Copenhagen, Denmark, October 27, 2022. Photo: Facebook Nguyen Phan Que Mai
Nguyen Phan Que Mai (C) meets her readers in Copenhagen, Denmark, October 27, 2022. Photo: Facebook Nguyen Phan Que Mai

Disrupted plan

Mai still remembers that it was 5:30 am on June 1, 2017 when she woke up in Brussels, Belgium to an email from Stevenson telling her that Algonquin Books had offered to publish “The Mountains Sing” in the U.S. and purchase the copyright for worldwide distribution.

After discussing the deal, Mai and Stevenson agreed to sign a publishing contract with Algonquin Books that same year.

Mai spent the next several months preparing for the book’s 2020 release.

However, the book launch trip to 14 cities prepared by Algonquin Books for nearly a year was canceled due to COVID-19.

Bookstores were closed and many readers complained that they ordered the book on Amazon but it was never delivered.

Around the world

Just when Mai began to feel that her writing career was being put on hold, articles about “The Mountains Sing” began appearing all over the media.

It turned out that Algonquin Books had printed and sent hundreds of proofreads to the press, critics, and close readers about six months earlier.

“The Mountains Sing” was introduced in major newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post, and important publications of the publishing industry such as Library Journal and Publishers Weekly.

Hundreds of reader reviews also shared their feelings about the book on social networks and reading sites.

Though the pandemic was battering the world with full force, Mai focused on remote advertising activities, such as writing articles about Agent Orange for the New York Times, speaking about writing skills on the Poets & Writers podcast, and discussing her motherland on the Literary Hub.

She also gave interviews, spoke about the book on many radio programs, and promoted the novel online and through talks with schools, book clubs, and libraries.

When the pandemic finally died down, “The Mountains Sing” earned its first international recognition – the 2021 Nonfiction Runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in the fiction category.

Nguyen Phan Que Mai meets her readers in Copenhagen, Denmark, October 27, 2022. Photo: Facebook Nguyen Phan Que Mai

Nguyen Phan Que Mai (R, 2nd) meets her readers in Copenhagen, Denmark, October 27, 2022. Photo: Facebook Nguyen Phan Que Mai

After attending the Dayton Literary Peace Prize award ceremony in Ohio in November 2021, Mai toured through 13 cities in the U.S. to promote the book.

It also won the 2020 BookBrowse Best Debut Award, the 2021 International Book Awards, the 2021 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, and the 2020 Lannan Literary Award Fellowship for Fiction.

It has since been translated into 14 languages and allowed Mai to tour the UK, Italy, France, Belgium, Denmark, Pakistan, and Vietnam. 

These trips not only allowed Mai to promote her book, but also to understand how international readers yearned for stories rich in national identity.

New English book

In addition to being an author, Mai’s advocacy for the rights of disadvantaged groups in Vietnam and her founding of several scholarship programs helped land her name amongst Forbes Vietnam’s 2021 list of 20 inspiring women.

Mai is preparing to release her second English novel “Dust Child,” which she has spent the past seven years to create since originally publishing the article Finding abandoned children in Vietnam in Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on September 6, 2015.

The article helped an American veteran find his loved ones and helped Mai realize that stories related to young mixed people and their families need more attention.

Stevenson and Algonquin Books will continue to accompany “Dust Child,” which is scheduled to be published in the U.S. on March 14 and has been copyrighted by Algonquin Books to 10 countries.

From March to May, Mai will visit more than 20 cities in the U.S., Canada, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia to meet her readers.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/features/20230122/vietnamese-writer-shares-love-of-homeland-in-awardwinning-englishlanguage-book/71079.html

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