Press Release: The keys to unlocking Australia’s innovation lies in Southeast Asia’s fastest growing middle class nation, Vietnam

SYDNEY, Australia – 15 May 2017

Vietnam boasts a population of more than 90 million with the fastest growing middle and affluent class in Southeast Asia, expected to double to 33 million people by 2020. A wealth of opportunity and talent exists for Australia to benefit from and take advantage of in the Asian Century.

On May 15-18, 20 of Vietnam and Australia’s brightest young leaders representing the arts, finance, technology, philanthropy, business, start-up, education and healthcare industries will converge in Sydney sharing ideas and innovation for the inaugural Australia-Vietnam Young Leadership Dialogue (AVYLD). The Dialogue aims to facilitate a deeper understanding and collaboration between Australian and Vietnamese young leaders to enhance the economic, social and cultural prosperity of both Australia and Vietnam.

An impressive number of successful hand-selected delegates have emerged from the start-up space and business sector, showcasing Vietnam’s ever-rising skilled workforce and talent which Australia could benefit from.

Ms. Thao Nguyen, Co-founder and Board Chair of AVYLD said: “Australia has traditionally overlooked business and trade opportunities with Vietnam in comparison to its focus on other larger Asian markets. It is the only country other than China, to grow consistently on average above 6% per year for over a decade. Vietnam has been emerging as a tiger. It is time Australia took more notice.”

Nguyen highlighted young talent selected to share their knowledge: “The inspiring delegates include Hoang Dao, who studied at the University of Technology Sydney and is creator of Monkey Junior, an early childhood reading app. This app is the most downloaded education app in the App Store and Google Play in the US, Canada and Vietnam. This Dialogue will demonstrate the exciting potential of the bilateral relationship.”

Chair of the Board for UTS:INSEARCH, Emeritus Professor Ross Milbourne AO, said that higher education is an important area in which Australia and Vietnam can collaborate for mutual benefit. “Developing greater cultural awareness, a global mindset and international connections are some of the benefits we see when Vietnamese and Australian students learn together. The Dialogue will offer this experience to a group of impressive young leaders who can drive innovation between both countries in the future.”

One of these young leaders is Vietnamese AVYLD delegate Dat Pham, who was listed in Forbes 30 under 30 Vietnam 2016 is Founder & Director of HATCH!, an entrepreneurial and start-up accelerator program. Pham said: “Tens of thousands of entrepreneurs have already come through our program since we began in 2012. There is a huge appetite from young Vietnamese to become the international success stories that past generations could only have dreamed of. That drive and that determination is what creates this modern-day success story which I hope will inspire others.”

Rachel Bui, CEO and Co-founder of AVYLD, and founding team member at Telstra’s startup accelerator, muru-D added: “Now is the time to tap into the emerging talent and entrepreneurial mindset of the younger generation who are driven with ambition to build bridges, create change and lead innovation to the benefit of their respective countries.”

Mr. Craig Chittick, the Australian Ambassador to Vietnam said: “Australia’s future relationship with Vietnam will be characterised by dynamism, innovation and deep personal linkages. The first group of participants are outstanding leaders in a range of fields and their contribution to building a strong partnership between Australia and Vietnam will be felt for years and decades to come.”

The inaugural four day dialogue aims to facilitate deeper cross-cultural understanding and collaboration through discussions and workshops with speakers and peers. It will focus on “innovation” as an overall theme in areas such as leadership, education, business and national development.

Ms Christine Holgate, CEO of Blackmores and Chair of the Australia-ASEAN Council (AAC) Board said, “The AAC Board is proud to sponsor the inaugural Dialogue between young leaders from Australia and Vietnam. I am confident that the outstanding delegates participating in this important event will make a significant contribution to building strong people-to-people and economic prosperity linkages between our two countries.”

The full list of delegates and their biographies can be found here: http://www.australiavietnam.org/avyld-delegates/

For more information about AVYLD: www.australiavietnam.org or follow the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/avyld

Further information on the Australia-ASEAN Council is available at: www.dfat.gov.au/aac
The inaugural Australia-Vietnam Young Leadership Dialogue 2017 is supported by distinguished partners:

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For interviews, imagery or more information, please contact:
Denis Leonov
E: denis@australiavietnam.org
T: 0488 808 001

Cuong Nguyen
E: cuong@australiavietnam.org
T: 0449 524 142

Supporters of the 2017 Australia Vietnam Youth Leadership Dialogue
The not-for-profit cross-border initiative is supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Australia-ASEAN Council (AAC). The AAC was established by Australia’s Foreign Minister in September 2015 to shape engagement with SouthEast Asia and strengthen partnerships through stronger business, science, arts and cultural links. Other partners include UTS:INSEARCH, KPMG, Muru-D, EY, Cardno, BlueScope Vietnam, Horwood Partners, and StudyNSW, NSW Government Department of Premier and Cabinet among others.