Today was my group’s site visit at VinaCapital, which is a corporation and a non-profit foundation. We covered what the non-profit does, how it is to live in Vietnam as an expat, and how development has affected Vietnam in recent years. The speakers were very enjoyable to engage with and I even talked with one afterwards about the foundation. The foundation’s main focus was broken down to four programs with one goal: to develop Vietnam’s middle class by stimulating the economy and bettering life for the Vietnamese. They focus on children because I learned today that the main source of poverty worldwide is child sickness. I could easily see why these programs, dealing with giving these kids fast access to healthcare and life-saving services, along with empowering them educationally, has helped so many children and their families. I also learned of the term “Goldilocks” economy, which is exactly what you think it is: the rate of growth is just right, not too slow but also not too fast that inflation skyrockets. Rural Vietnam should be on the come up because of development using companies like VinaCapital to increase GDP of the country by nearly 7% last year. Tying in our culture lecture from earlier in the trip, I saw that the differing ethnic groups also have differing levels of poverty as minorities in the countryside. Because these families are poor, they raise money to help pay for their services and work with national healthcare to pay.
Some interesting tidbits of information were mentioned in the presentation. The range of 45-50 years old consumerism is a good statistic to measure expected growth of a country because they spend the most money at that time. Wealth and height are very correlated in Vietnam, which was supported by evidence by one of our presenters that is actually a shark on Vietnam’s Shark Tank!
We went to a pagoda after a great Buddhism lecture about the philosophy and sorrow. This is where my pictures come from. We also shopped around Ben Thanh Market today and that was a crazy experience with people constantly tapping you on the shoulder and bargaining. Food was delicious as usual, as we went to a food court for lunch and I got spring rolls and soup. Then, for dinner, the boys got Korean food delivered and ate and hung out with Bunny while the girls got their nails done. Really starting to feel that time is sadly running out!