This morning we went to the Vietnam Singapore industrial park. VISP is a government subsidized park that attempts to attract international business. It is the hope of the government that the businesses will employ citizens and strengthen the economy of Vietnam. VSIP has several unique features that make it a suitable location for international business. They have a local customs site, security force, grounds maintenance, and a governmental relations division. All of these features make locating an international business in VISP highly conductive of profitability.
After learning about VSIP itself, we went into II-IV (pronounced two six) to learn about their business. They are a precision engineering company focusing on optics. At this location they produce lenses for lasers. They have many plans for expansion and increased production. The chief engineer whongave us a tout is named Dave and he is an American expat in Vietnam. Never before have i found the things I learned in school to be so relevant. Producing the lenses requires a lot of math physics and chemistry. At one point we observed some workers with with quality analysis of a lens using a spectrometer. Thanks to chemistry class I know exactly what's spectrometer is and how to use one. Even more importantly I knew how to interpret the graph generated on the screen. So far II-IV was my favorite I company visit, what they do was so relevant to us engineers and we old rally appreciate their work.
Our friend Anh came with us today to our company visits in addition to Trân of course. Trân is so funny and I love having her around. On the way home I spoke with Anh about the Vietnamese culture and I tried to understand some of our differences. We talked about taxes healthcare inflation and many more topics. In the afternoon we listened to a presentation by the US Economic Service in Vietnam. They assist American companies do business around the area they are located. They are responsible for collecting market data and analyzing it to undercover notable trends that may help American businesses.
Before Trân left us for the day I asked her to help me come up with a Vietnamese name for myself. She suggested several possibilities but we finally settled on Manh. I chose this name because It has a similar meaning to my English name. I will no longer be called "Alice", yay! The UEF students still address me by my real name though. They tried very hard to pronounce it tonight at dinner to no avail.
We had some free time in the afternoon before we went out with our UEF friends. They took us to a BBQ restaurant where the food was surprisingly American like although still Vietnamese. On the way to dinner I rode on my friend Tâm's motorbike. I took a video that I will post later in the week when I get enough free time to do so. I observed that we reached a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour. I believe that the motorbike method of transport is very safe, but safe is different from hectic. The American driving style is not used to this type of environment but I think that we could adjust quickly. I am incredibly tired so I'm going to leave it at that for tonight.