Over 250 business immigration professionals attended the 2016 Ho Chi Minh EB-5 Delegation, hosted by EB5 Investors Magazine on March 26-28 at the beautiful Park Hyatt Saigon. A select group of U.S. EB-5 program stakeholders and migration agencies made up the delegation, and participants enjoyed exclusive access to a special video message from U.S. Rep. Jared Polis on current EB-5 program discussions on Capitol Hill.
The delegation's attendees included migration agents, sub-agents and wealth managers, joining 60 U.S.-based EB-5 professionals and representatives from 13 EB-5 projects.
The following participant testimonial was offered by EB-5 attorney Phuong Le of law firm David Hirson & Partners, LLP, capturing his firm’s experience at the event:
“Over the course of two thoughtfully-planned days at the Park Hyatt Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City, four members of our firm joined a select group of speakers including regional centers, projects, and securities attorneys to share our perspectives and discuss relevant, timely issues with Vietnam’s immigration community. In addition to providing updates on the state of the EB-5 program and regional center/project presentations, the panels also covered information to help an investor transition his family to the United States, such as the education system and tax planning. Panels were often full, and on more than one occasion ran late when Q&A sessions revealed an engaged audience that had thoroughly absorbed the information.
Despite the demand for tickets, the Delegation limited the number of attendees to focus on quality of discussion rather than quantity of attendees. This allowed us to focus on meeting and building relationships with the people we met instead of simply adding a few more inches of business cards to our Rolodex. We met with past and current clients as they visited our booths, and made plans to meet with folks later that week. The connections we made during the Delegation ultimately helped shaped our Vietnam trip as we traveled through the country. We enjoyed getting to know the migration agents and their staff in Ho Chi Minh City, counseling Vietnamese businesses and executives with their L-1/EB-1C matters in Hanoi, and the dinner meetings where we were fed (too well) in Da Nang.
Ultimately, the Delegation was successful because it provided a two-way forum to share and exchange knowledge. Perhaps the most important panel was migration agents sharing their perspectives on understanding the cultural differences for investors in each region. The agents shed light on what our firm’s own experience has confirmed: the importance of understanding the distinct regional differences between, say, a white-collar professional in Hanoi versus the self-made entrepreneur in Da Nang. Each market and type of investor must be handled differently. It may make perfect business sense for an agent or regional center to throw a large seminar in one region—one that would never work for another region. We will continue to adapt based on the lessons we learned this trip to better serve our clients throughout each region.
Understanding culture is especially critical in Vietnam, because translations may lose out on subtle nuances, or be incomplete when there is no equivalent word that can accurately capture a person’s emotion. During this past week, I was surprised how often a ‘correct’ translation from Vietnamese to English may provide the right words, but loses a person’s tone, intention, or regional culture. For example, an initially hesitant investor may actually be worried about providing adequate financial and parental care for their child in the U.S. Events like this help form a bridge of cross-cultural understanding that not only strengthens the industry, but also equips and positions industry stakeholders for success.”
One of the key aspects of our events highlighted above is the “bridge” we aim to build between industry stakeholders. We aim to unite business immigration professionals through top-notch educational panels and quality opportunities to build valuable relationships. This is a goal that we continue to keep at the forefront as we plan our growing calendar of EB-5 networking and educational events.
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