A Blast from the Past: The Day CNN Business Traveller Came to Town

tableIt was at this table at a popular Hanoi cafe that I had a conversation with Richard Quest, of CNN Business Traveller fame, nine years ago this summer.  Quest was in town to tape a show about Vietnam that took a look at “the practical aspects of doing business in Vietnam, from cultural practices through to legalities for setting up shop.”  It included interviews with me, Thai Ngoc Diep, co-contributor to my book Vietnam Today:  A Guide to a Nation at a Crossroads, and Al DeMatteis, owner of the Delta Equipment & Construction Company, who passed away last August in New York, among others, most notably, Prime Minister Phan Văn Khải.

This August 2005 article entitled  Surviving Vietnam’s business world, about the German retailer Metro, was a by-product of Quest’s trip.  It begins with a statement that still holds true today:  With a curious combination of communism and capitalism, business in this Southeast Asian nation switches between the two all the time.

Near Hoan Kiem Lake on a hot and sultry July afternoon.
Near Hoan Kiem Lake on a sultry July afternoon. I was trying to smile but it was too damn hot – about 39C (just over 102F), as I recall. 🙂