President Obama said he would support Vietnam in startup activities and English language teaching while expressing his confidence in the development of entrepreneurship in the country.
“What makes start-ups successful is good ideas and human capital. Investors and infrastructure are important but most is people. If look at Vietnam now, culture of entrepreneurship is starting but is our education system equipping children good enough? You both young, remember how it is to go to school,” he said.
Obama said that entrepreneurship was the fuel for “prosperity that puts rising economies on the path to success”.
“It’s what gives young people, like so many of you, the chance to channel your energy and your passion into something that is bigger than yourselves,” he said. “It allows us to go across countries and cultures to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.”
Regarding the benefits the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will bring to Vietnamese entrepreneurs, he said despite some people being "suspicious of free trade", he is confident the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be passed.
Vietnam’s manufacturing and export-led economy is considered as the biggest TPP beneficiary as the deal will help push up economic reforms in Vietnam, enhance the country’s economic competitiveness and market expansion.
We are going to create standards for world trade that are fair. They will encourage the rule of law and intellectual property that have strong environmental provisions so that countries can’t take advantage of or destroy the environment, Obama said.
“The good news is the majority of the American people still believe in trade, and still believe it is good for our economy. The bad news is that U.S. politics are not always, how should I put it, reasonable. Although there have been a few ups and downs along the way to convincing US legislators to approve the TPP, Obama is confident that “ultimately we will get it passed. There are still some very supportive congressmen here today. Ultimately we will get the TPP passed.
“When China came into the WTO, it could take advantage of the growing global supply chain. Lots of manufacturing was shifted to China. Many American people saw it as jobs exported to China. Some of the same things happened to Mexico too,” he said.
He said the majority of American people hold the perception that free trade agreements (FTAs) are bad for American workers, adding data proves that the US may lose some manufacturing jobs, but the country will gain in other areas overall.
However, he said to continue to get the TPP passed, we have to make globalization works for us.
“My message the other day is that I believe in you, America believes in you, and we will keep investing in your success. Ultimately, it’s the inventors and dreamers people like those that I’ve just met, those who we will hear from soon and all of you in the audience, who are going to shape Vietnam’s future in the decades to come,” he said.
“I think that if you had any doubt about the outstanding future of Vietnamese entrepreneurs, then all those doubts have been pushed away because of the outstanding presentations by these three individuals. Give them a big round of applause,” Obama said when concluding his talk with young entrepreneurs.
Obama also met with the three leading Vietnamese entrepreneurs, namely Le Hoang Uyen Vy, founder of Adayroi.com, an e-commerce website designed to become Amazon of Vietnam, Do Thi Thuy Hang, Vice president of Retail Group Seedcom, and Khoa Pham, Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Vietnam at the Dreamplex Co-Working Space at the Miss Ao Dai Building in the city’s District 1.
During the meeting, Obama talked about business ideas as well as difficulties they have to overcome to move forward in the future.