Vietnamese businessmen to make visit to Madison

A group of Vietnamese businessmen will begin their weeklong stay in Madison Friday, June 17. The group is coming to learn about how American businesses operate.

Dow Canup of Design World and his wife Holly will host the group at their home the night of the businessmen’s arrival.

This isn’t an entirely new experience for Canup, as he has visited Vietnam before.

“I’ve actually been three times,” Canup said. “We’ve had three different classes that have gone through the entire program, and my team has gone three times to teach finance.”

He said there are about 20 people in this area that have been to Vietnam several times as part of this training program.

 “Our goal is to show them how Americans do business and how to do international business in hoping they will learn about capitalism, and also hopefully learn about ethics at the same time,” Canup said.

The trip was coordinated through HighMark, Inc., which is a corporation in Atlanta that designs programs to help businesspeople in developing economic areas.

Canup said he hopes to give the Vietnamese tools to help them grow their businesses financially.

“The idea of a for-profit business has only been in existence for 10 to 12 years in Vietnam,” Canup explained. “Many of them are making that transition from a state-owned business to a for-profit business. So that’s why it’s helpful for them to see U.S. businesses that are for-profit businesses.”

He said many of them have 2-3,000 people working for them.

“A lot of them come from major construction companies to manufacturing facilities,” Canup said.

While Canup said he hopes for the Vietnamese businessmen to learn about capitalism and ethics, he also said he hopes the Madison community can get something out of the experience, too. He said he wants people to understand the preconceptions many people have about Vietnam is based on what is seen in movies.

“But they’re just like we are,” Canup said. “They want a better life for their kids and to be able to be successful and enjoy life. We need to get past the Hollywood image of Vietnam. It’s a beautiful country that is running headlong toward capitalism, and we need to support it.”

He also explained there are business opportunities that some of them can do for companies in Madison.

“Vietnam is one of the places where the dollar’s actually rising against their currency, and it’s going to become a major trade partner for the U.S.,” Canup said.

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