The big Chinese investment migration firms have thus far not been successful in penetrating the fast-growing market neighboring them to the south, despite geographical proximity, as well as political and economic similarities. Investment migration practitioners with decades of experience in the Vietnamese market say a clash of cultures is to blame.
During a panel discussion at the Investment Immigration Summit in Ho Chi Minh City this April, Investment Migration Insider spoke to Jean François Harvey of Harvey Law and Sylvie Ma of Henley & Partners Vietnam about which investment migration firms – the domestic Vietnamese ones, the big international ones, or the big Chinese outfits – would be best placed to capture market share in the rapidly expanding business of residence and citizenship by investment for Vietnamese HNWIs.
“I personally know of three companies from China that tried to do business in Vietnam and closed after six months,” said Jean François Harvey, Global Managing Partner of Harvey Law Group, a man who’s been doing business in Vietnam for more than a decade. “They came here with a Chinese approach, which was totally inappropriate,” he continued, pointing to a Chinese preference for rigid hierarchies over flexibility and autonomy.
Supporting his point, Sylvie Ma of Henley & Partners Vietnam, pointed to a Vietnamese penchant for entrepreneurialism clashing with a Chinese preference for control. “If the Chinese want to succeed [in Vietnam] they have to leave some room for Vietnamese entrepreneurs to grow within that company, such as through a joint venture, but that is maybe not the approach the Chinese want to take. They like to control,” said Ma of Chinese investment migration companies.
Watch the three-minute clip by clicking the video below.