Day 10: Don’t Barge in on this ImPORTant Day – 5/15/19

Today started off a bit early with my classic breakfast. Then, we headed to Cat Lai Terminal for a site visit. Cat Lai is run by Saigon Newport Corporation, which provides port operation, logistics, and shipping and offshore services. We mainly focused on port operation services during our visit. They take in huge containers for imports and exports and load or unload them from barges. It then goes to another country or to local businesses. The development of these ports has improved Vietnam’s economy, which has allowed them to develop immensely. It also furthers their globalization because it allows Vietnam to get global products and send their own products that then influence society’s culture. The ports are even experiencing their own development with the increase of technology. Saigon Newport Corp. plans to go paperless, and right now, they use real-time systems to keep track of different containers and ships. They also share this information with their customers using their app. The widespread use of technology demonstrates how Vietnam has already developed and how they understand what the next step is to become a major global player. This port is in such a strategic location because Ho Chi Minh City is the economic center of Vietnam, so many businesses need to import and export their products. It is also right on the river, which allows for easy transportation. In addition, Saigon Newport Corp. has many other ports located throughout Vietnam, but the Cat Lai Terminal is their largest and most successful port. This is largely due to its location and its continual development. Many of their other ports are meant for different types of ships, but they do have a bunch that are similar to Cat Lai. Saigon Newport Corp. doesn’t face much competition because they are the largest port operator in Vietnam, and they are associated with the Navy. This gives them even more power. We ate lunch at Cat Lai Terminal, which was an interesting experience seeing the cafeteria there. Everything was on a metal tray, and there were no labels on the food, which is different from the American cafeterias that I have experienced. After lunch, we finished up the Cat Lai visit with a game testing us on what we learned during the first half. After that, we headed to the Reunification Palace. The Reunification Palace is a symbol of Vietnam’s freedom and it mixes traditional and modern architecture styles. This shows that Vietnam wants to look ahead to the future and their potential for growth and development. The rooms inside were incredible. They were adorned with beautiful carpets, furniture, and decorations. The place was also huge. Originally, the palace was used for important business during the war. The president lived there with his wife and he had an office in the bunker that was for military planning. After the war, the palace became more of a symbol, and now they only hold 4 meetings there each year. After visiting the palace, we came back to the hotel for our fittings of the traditional Vietnamese dress. They’re absolutely gorgeous, and I can’t wait to wear them on Friday! Now we have a break to work on presentations before we get dim sum for dinner!

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