What the National Youth Council’s webinars on Vietnam’s various sectors taught student participants

The AVES webinars are part of National Youth Council’s Asia-Ready Exposure Programme.

Benjamin Chew

Only drinks bubble tea with 100% sugar.

Published: 5 December 2022, 1:32 PM

Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia, investing billions in new startups and receiving foreign investment in diverse sectors.

To learn more about Vietnam’s culture, economy, and tech sector, a series of webinars called the Asia Virtual Exposure Series (AVES) 2022 took place in July.

Part of the Asia-Ready Exposure Programme organised by the National Youth Council, it involved student participants from higher NITEC courses in Singapore and high schools in Vietnam.

Experienced speakers from industries such as technology and market research held webinars over five afternoons in July, with a sixth session on Aug 5 for the student groups’ presentations.

Among the participants were Benjamin Ang, 25, and Han Zong Shen, 17, from ITE College West who attended AVES 2022 after hearing about it through their Service Ambassador Club co-curricular activity. 

They shared with Youthopia four takeaways they had from the webinars.

1. Vietnam is among the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia

At the webinar titled Vietnam’s Economic Growth: Why is Vietnam an attractive market for Foreign Business, Zong Shen learnt that the country was one of the most stable and fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia.

The accounting student says that after he attended the webinars, he learnt that Vietnam invested over US$10 billion ($14 billion) in new startups.

“But after I attended these webinars, I found out that Vietnam was not what I imagined as I discovered that it invested over US$10 billion (S$14 billion) in new startups.”


Having signed several free trade agreements, Vietnam faces less trade barriers such as imposed taxes on imported products when they purchase goods from other countries. PHOTO CREDIT: MINH MINH VIA UNSPLASH


Zong Shen also learnt that Vietnam’s strong economy can be attributed to its openness in doing business in foreign countries from Mr Tran Hung Thien, President of GCOMM. 

Coming from one of the most prominent market research firms in Vietnam, he shared that Vietnam continues to register as a robust foreign investment port in diverse sectors.

2. Singapore can learn from Vietnam’s global innovation and technology sectors

Ranked 48th out of 132 countries on the Global Innovation Index in 2022, Vietnam boasts of technology and innovations that Singapore has not widely started using, such as electric vehicles.

Created in 2017, VinFast is one of the many branch companies of Vietnam technology conglomerate Vingroup.


VinFast is the first Vietnamese car brand to expand into global markets and create electric vehicles, and established its headquarters in Singapore. PHOTO CREDIT: VINFAST


Zong Shen added that since electric cars are not a common sight in Singapore, he sees potential for Singapore to work with Vietnam to bring more electric vehicles to the roads, which could also improve the trade relations of both countries.

In the long run, driving electric cars will also be healthier for our environment instead of using vehicles that run on petrol or diesel, he says.

3. The importance of networking

Having never visited Vietnam, both Zong Shen and Benjamin learnt the importance of networking through the webinars.

Besides networking, they learnt several other tips that would help them start their own business, such as creating a localised market strategy by spending time to understand the local people and markets.


Reaching out to people and networking with stakeholders to gain their trust is important when asking for their help to invest in your business. PHOTO CREDIT: MART PRODUCTION VIA PEXELS


Benjamin, who studies service management, said that he took the effort to keep in touch with the facilitators in the hopes of interning in a foreign startup in future.

“These speakers can provide me with internship opportunities through their own businesses and connections,” he adds.

4. More opportunities for exposure through education institutions and internships

Benjamin believes that with the COVID-19 restrictions lifted, more overseas exchange programs can be conducted between schools in both countries.

He feels that local and foreign startups can also offer more internship opportunities to students, allowing them to gain firsthand insights about Vietnam’s many industries.

“Topics like political landscapes and economic growth are not things I really read about on a day-to-day basis, so these webinars can definitely help me in terms of my career prospects as it further expands on what I want to study in school,” Benjamin said.

The AVES programme itself also proved to be an effective collaboration between Vietnam and Singapore, as both Benjamin and Zong Shen were able to learn about Vietnamese culture from their interactions with the Vietnamese students.


Through online interactions during AVES, Zong Shen learnt that some food like the Vietnamese pancake has a close relation to Chinese cuisine. PHOTO CREDIT: BENJAMIN ANG


Aside from learning more about Vietnam’s various industries, working on their group project with the Vietnamese students allowed them to develop more cross-cultural understandings, such as the differences in their traditional festivals, cuisine and customs.

If you’re interested in participating in National Youth Council’s Asia-Ready Exposure Programme you can sign up here.

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