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IDG hosts Vietnam Prime Minister, signs technology agreements

IDG Asia President & CEO Hugo Shong shakes hands with Tran Quoc Thang, Vietnam’s vice minister of science and technology, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding. Looking on are Lore Harp McGovern, Pat McGovern and Prime Minister Phan Van Khai

When Vietnam’s Prime Minister Phan Van Khai visited Boston last month as part of his historic trip to the U.S. that also included stops in Washington, D.C., Seattle, and New York, IDG played a significant role in hosting the 71-year-old Asian leader and his large delegation of government officials and business leaders. The trip marked the first visit to the U.S. by a Vietnamese prime minister since the end of the Vietnam War 30 years ago and coincided with the 10-year anniversary of the normalization of U.S.-Vietnamese trade relations. During the Prime Minister’s visit, IDG signed two technology memoranda of understanding expanding the cooperation between IDG and the Vietnamese government and Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). The agreement between IDG and the VCCI calls for cooperation on three programs:

  • VCCI and IDG will work together to develop the use of IT in Vietnamese enterprises
  • The two groups will cooperate to organize technology events and awards programs in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia
  • IDG and VCCI will have major roles in organizing an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation technology CEO/CIO Summit and Awards event in Vietnam in November 2006.

The agreement between IDG and the Ministry of Science and Technology focuses on assisting Vietnam to build high-tech research and development capacity, promoting the development of the country’s high-tech industry and encouraging the commercialization of technology products in Vietnam. IDG will help to market and promote Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park outside Vietnam and provide advice and support to the Ministry as it plans construction and operation of a High-Tech Conference and Exposition Center in Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park. In addition, IDG Ventures Vietnam hosted a dinner at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Mass., for 300 people that included, in addition to Prime Minister Khai and his delegation

Boston-area IDG executives and special guests. IDG Chairman Patrick McGovern, former U.S. Senator George McGovern, Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly and Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan each spoke at the dinner. Henry Nguyen, Managing General Partner of IDG Ventures Vietnam, said that he has received much feedback from members of the delegation stating that the IDG-organized events were the highlights of their trip. The next day, following the signing of the memoranda of understanding, IDG hosted a lunch at the MIT Faculty Club. The featured speaker was Robert Desimone, director of The McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. McGovern, his wife Lore Harp McGovern and Prime Minister Khai also spoke.

Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly, Vietnam Prime Minister Phan Van Khai and IDG Chairman Pat McGovern share a laugh at last month’s dinner at The Charles Hotel.

IDG has had a role in Vietnam’s emerging IT sector since 1992 when it launched PC World in cooperation with the Hochiminh City Department of Science and Technology. Over the years that role has expanded to include the launch of Computerworld, various conferences and expositions, the establishment of an IDC office and a wholly owned IDG subsidiary in 2003, a scholarship program for promising university students interested in pursuing careers in IT and, last year, the launch of IDG Ventures Vietnam, the country’s first U.S. venture capital company set up to invest in early-stage local IT and media companies.

IDG in Vietnam: A history of firsts

  • 1992: PC World becomes the first computer publication in the country, published in cooperation with the Hochiminh City Department of Science & Technology.
  • 1994: IDG Founder and Chairman Patrick McGovern travels to Vietnam for the first time.
  • 1996: IDG opens an office to organize expositions and conferences.
  • 1996: Vietnam Computerworld Expo debuts.
  • 1998: The U.S. Department of Commerce certifies Vietnam Computerworld Expo, underscoring its importance for promoting American technology goods and services.
  • 1998: IDG Web site goes live as the first native IT site providing information on publications, exhibitions, and offering newsletters.

Pictured at the dinner honoring Vietnam Prime Minister Phan Van Khai are (l-r): Lore Harp McGovern, IDG Founder & Chairman Pat rick McGovern, Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan, former U.S. Senator George McGovern, IDG Asia President & CEO Hugo Shong, IDG Ventures Vietnam Managing General Partner Henry Nguyen and Managing Director IDG Vietnam and Indochina Tam Le.

  • 2000: Tam Le appointed managing director of IDG Vietnam.
  • 2000: IDC Vietnam provides research reports on PCs and printers.
  • 2001: Wireless World Vietnam and COMNET open.
  • 2002: Banking Vietnam debuts in cooperation with the State Bank of Vietnam.
  • 2002: Patrick McGovern receives Certificate of Merit from the People’s Committee of Hochiminh City for his contribution to the development of IT in Vietnam.
  • 2003: IDG Vietnam is established as a wholly-owned subsidiary.
  • 2003: Vietnam ICTE (education expo) is held in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Training.
  • 2003: e-Government symposium debuts.
  • 2003: IDG signs a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Science and
    Technology witnessed by Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan covering publications and investment.
  • 2004: Vietnam ICT in Finance show opens in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance.
  • 2004: Thoi bao Vi tinh Saigon, Computerworld magazine, is launched with the Saigon Times Group.
  • 2004: Patrick McGovern meets with Prime Minister Phan Van Khai and General Vo Nguyen Giap, a national hero of independent Vietnam.
  • 2004: An IDG scholarship program begins with 10 students receiving funds. IDG Vietnam provides printers for Cao Bang Province’s Department of Education and Training; helps build a primary school in Cao Bang; and provides funds for HIV/AIDS children in Hochiminh City.
  • 2004: IDG Ventures establishes a $100 million fund to invest in early stage technology companies in Vietnam. It is the first American venture capital company established to invest in high-tech companies in Vietnam. Hoang B. Nguyen appointed as Managing General Partner of the fund
  • 2005: IDG Ventures provides funds for PeaceSoft and iSphere (software companies), VinaGame, and VietnamWorks.com (one of the largest employment Web sites in the country).
  • 2005: ICT World Expo becomes the first technology exhibit in Cambodia.
  • 2005: The first Indochina CIO conference is held and the 10 best CIOs are honored.