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A Fond Farewell

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A Fond Farewell


IMG_2826A very enjoyable farewell dinner organised by our hospitable hosts now eaten and it's almost time to take part in the Cathay Pacific flight Marathon via Hong Kong . It's been really enjoyable but very tiring , with no real breaks from meetings during the day and usually doing 'homework' preparation in the evening, admittedly eased by putting a Tiger (beer or two) in our tank! The Vietnamese start early and like to be punctual so the prospect of a lie in has been out of the question. Just time for a bit of shopping or should it be bartering? Rollexx(!) Watches, Weasel Coffee(don't go there!!), Snake Wine and not to forget that a medium T-Shirt is medium size for a Vietnamese!


Embassy Bound


Meeting this morning with the UKTI embassy contact and we found it very useful in sketching out the overall position on UK initiatives in Vietnam. Plenty to chase up, on our return. Our last afternoon has been spent meeting a really progressive IT hardware manufacturing company and discussing management issues with their MD and his senior team..the good news for us is that though they are obviously successful, they do have issues and recognise that, as well.


Taste Of Vietnam


IMG_2704During this visit, we've been enjoying food ranging from excellent to interesting. For example, the excellent Pho, Shrimp and Pork dishes, all accompanied by their unique sauce. However today, we enjoyed a new experience along 'I Am the Celebrity' lines......sea worm spring rolls!  Actually, very tasty and we have learnt that any empty plates are automatically refilled as our waistbands expand. We've also learnt how to use chopsticks although we're more a Crewe Alexandra standard than Manchester United. Incidentally, everybody loves football, particularly the Manchester clubs and everybody seems to have been to Manchester University. There's a message in there somewhere for Birmingham!
Hello Vietnam


IMG_2690Arriving in Hanoi, the traffic has been horrendous and makes Piccadilly Circus look like a quiet cul de sac.The people are straight talking but wonderfully  friendly and hospitable. English rather than French is the most spoken second language and, thanks to tips from UKTI's Cultural Adviser, we have managed not to commit any  cultural faux pas. We passed business cards with both hands, received them with the care of handling a Ming Vase and exchanged presents as personal rather than business offerings - the latter apparently can be construed as bribery! Incidentally, our gifts included a Pewter whisky flask from our famous Jewellery Quarter and leather luggage tags with the City's logo.


Making Plans


Next steps was the process of checking and arranging some of the mechanics. Did our individual travel insurance cover a business trip? Yes! Did we need a Visa for a short visit? No!  Could we take foreign currency with us (bizarrely named the Dong)? No! Other issues to be sorted included innoculations (luckily none) and finding the cheapest most convenient flights, which we did predictably through a combination of Skyscanner  and the local Flight Shop.
Exporting With The Experts!


Our first ever business visit to Vietnam started with a phone call to UKTI. This, in turn, has led to us paying a fee to join their Passport to Export scheme. Of course, many business organisations charge a fee to join and ,how often, have we all been disappointed with their services once we've been netted and paid our fee?Flag_of_Vietnam.svg
  This, however, has been pleasingly different and it has been the best £250 that we've ever spent, as a training provider looking for international collaboration. We were immediately allocated our own International Trade Adviser (Ann Cook) and access to a wide selection of free seminars on topics ranging from cultural advice and website tips to finance and legal issues. We've been on as many as possible and this has been further boosted by a number of 'one to one' meetings with UKTI's range of experts We were then helped through the process of completing an Export Business Plan and, the best news of all, the potential of a 50% grant towards travel and accommodation up to a maximum ceiling of £1,000 !
Fully Funded Training Courses For Worcestershire Companies

Business Development Midlands are delivering Fully Funded Training Courses to Worcestershire Companies with less than 250 employees.

Funding is currently available for your business to take advantage of fully funded training courses within the Worcestershire area. This is part of a major initiative by Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership to up skill the Worcestershire work force. These accredited courses are delivered as one or two day self-contained workshops which could also allow progression onto a Full Diploma. We are currently delivering the following courses within the Worcestershire area:

  • Leadership and Management
  • Finance
    Sales and Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Customer Service
  • IT User Skills (Excel)
  • And Many More...

(All of these courses are fully accredited and can be counted as units towards a Full Diploma which spans 12 Months)

To be eligible for funding your Company MUST have less than 250 employees as it is a funding requirement. However, if you have over this number of employees, a discounted price can be negotiated.

Note; To be eligible for funding the employee must also be over 19 years of age
If you are interested in any of these courses simply contact us by sending an email to [email protected] or phone us on 0121 222 5738.
The majority of these courses are delivered in Worcestershire at St Richards Hospice which is located in the City Centre. We can also offer training 'in house' subject to feasible numbers on the course.

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