Once our group awoke from a deep exhaustion-educed slumber caused by the previous hectic day, we attended a lecture on urbanization, development, and planning in Ho Chi Minh City. The speaker compared Vietnam’s mentality towards globalization to the song “Imagine” by John Lennon. Just as Lennon sings in his famous song, Vietnam strives to “share all the world” by accepting the resources of other countries and using them to enhance their economy. The lecture also focused on how Vietnam cannot change the past, instead the people have chosen to accept the present and work towards a brighter future.
After a delicious, authentic meal of Japanese sushi, we traveled to Phu My Hung Corporation where we attended our first site visit of the trip. At Phu My Hung, a representative from the corporation spoke to us about the history of the area and the process of development. The goal of Phu My Hung, or any development corporation, is to take low value land and refine it into a high value area. During the presentation, I was informed that 68% of the residents are native Vietnamese, and 38% are foreigners mainly from Korea and Chinese and English-speaking countries. Yet I was able to speak with some of the UEF students, and they chatted about their adventures in Phu My Hung although they did not live there. This demonstrated to me the affect that this area has on the economy and people of Ho Chi Minh City, that they would spend their free time on Friday nights playing games in the park and shopping at the local mall. While driving around the area in our bus it was evident that the development of the outside-city area brought in upscale foreign companies that are not located in Ho Chi Minh City. Many more cars populated the street, yet motorbikes were still a common sight. The business representative also spoke about how the corporation strictly followed a ‘master plan’ for the development of the land. This plan won an award for sustainability, which was visible when driving around Phu My Hung as there was significantly less litter on the street than that in Ho Chi Minh City. Visiting Phu My Hung Corporation was a lesson in the globalization and development of Vietnam which echoed the morning lecture. Globalization is key in business today and the result leads to, as John Lennon sings, ‘the world living as one’.