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  • Writer's pictureISHCMC

Gaining Insights: Students Experience Canadian Chamber of Commerce's 'The Crystal Ball' Luncheon

Students from International School Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC) recently had the opportunity to attend The Crystal Ball, a business luncheon organized by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam. The event aimed to provide insights into what the future holds for businesses and individuals in Vietnam and featured a panel of experts in a variety of fields, including finance, technology, and politics.

The luncheon began with a warm welcome from one of the chamber's board members, Winnie Lam, who introduced the lineup of industry leading experts in Vietnam. She went on to share that not only did the audience have a chance to listen to their predictions about the year ahead, but they also would have the opportunity to ask their own questions during a panel session. After the introduction, one by one, the industry experts took to the stage to share their predictions and insights with the attendees.

Guest speakers included Mr. Alex Crane - Managing Director, Knight Frank, Mr. Binh Tran - Co-founder & General Partner, Ascend Vietnam Ventures, Mr. Ismael Pili - Head of Research, VinaCapital, Ms. Sarah Galeski - Counsel, Tilleke & Gibbins, Mr. Ralf Matthaes - Founder/Managing Director, Infocus Mekong Research (IFM) and Mr. Will Ross CFA - Chief Marketing & Distribution Officer, Dragon Capital Group Limited.

As the students listened to their talks, they had the chance to learn about a wide range of topics across various industries and fields. From the potential risks and opportunities that come with investing in different markets and latest trends to the possible impacts of new technologies across industries and how the real estate landscape will affect business in the year ahead.

Dorothy, a student who joined the event shared her thoughts on the experience and how it impacted her own thinking; “I'm very interested in the reality of sustainable businesses because currently in Vietnam it's very hard to implement as we're not particularly a grown country yet and wages are still rather low, and implementing something such as sustainability generally is very difficult”

“Listening to industry leaders who have had extensive research on these matters, however, really gave me some great advice and insights. For example, I remember one of the speakers saying that it is more important for us to focus on genuine utility over aesthetic value and I think that's very important for sustainability like businesses now, especially in Vietnam.”

During the luncheon, the students also had the opportunity to ask their own questions and engage in discussions with the panelists. This gave them a chance to learn from the experts, as well as to share their own perspectives and insights. Questions from our students covered sustainability solutions and how they will integrate with business trends in the year ahead, as well as trade with South America and what opportunities might arise in 2023.

Also sharing on the event, student Adrian shared, “I really learnt a lot from this experience. There are a lot of things that you can hear in a classroom which you can learn and write down on a test, but you won't really understand them until you can see them in real life”. He went on to say, “Even hearing some of these terms that we hear in class being used by experts in the industry in these very applicable situations, really helps you understand why not only terms and concepts matter but also how they're used and applied, as well as how we hope to hopefully apply these concepts in our own lives”

For our students, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam’s business luncheon provided a unique and valuable learning experience. It gave them the opportunity to learn about the latest trends and predictions in the business world, as well as engage in discussions and network with industry professionals. By attending events like these, students can gain a deeper understanding of the business world and develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their future careers.



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