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Vietnamese brands benefit from President Obama’s visit

VietNamNet Bridge - Events during US President Obama’s visit to Vietnam helped promote many domestic brands.
VietNamNet Bridge - Events during US President Obama’s visit to Vietnam helped promote many domestic brands.

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US President Obama eats bun cha at Huong Lien Shop

Vietjet Air, for example, became better known with its name appearing in local and international newspapers. 

The only privately run air carrier in Vietnam on May 23 signed an $11.3 billion contract to buy 100 B737 MAX200 with Boeing, the US aircraft manufacturer, with the signing witnessed by President Obama and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang.

On the same day, Vietjet also signed a contract worth $3.04 billion to buy aircraft engines from United Technologies Corp.

Vietjet is described by local newspapers as an ‘ambitious’ airline which wants to be the Emirates of Asia. 

Its CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao has appeared in mass media as a talented businesswoman and a woman with soft manners.

Though Huong Lien Bun Cha Shop in Hanoi did not sign any multi-billion dollar contract, it became the focus of the media during Obama’s stay in Vietnam. 

Huong Lien, a 20-year brand, was not famous until May 23, the day when Obama visited and ate bun cha there.

The owner of Huong Lien Shop charged Obama $6 for bun cha and two bottles of Hanoi beer, but the fame she got was much more valuable than the fee. 


The Nguyen Sieu Primary School has become  more famous because one of its first-grade students was chosen as the schoolgirl who had the honor to offer a bunch of flowers to Obama at the Presidential Palace.

Local newspapers reported that Vietnamese and foreigners have been flocking to Huong Lien to try bun cha there.

Nguyen Duc Son, a renowned branding expert, commented that the image of Obama drinking Hanoi beer brought a ‘diamond’, not ‘golden’, opportunity to Habeco (the brewery that owns a beer brand) to advertise itself.

The Nguyen Sieu Primary School, a well-known school in Hanoi, has become even more famous because one of its first-grade students – Phuong Linh – was chosen as the schoolgirl who had the honor to offer a bunch of flowers to Obama at the Presidential Palace.

Linh was also the girl who offered flowers to the Venezuelan President when he visited Vietnam last year.

Meanwhile, Dreamplex in HCMC, the ‘rendezvous’ for startups, was chosen as the place where Obama met young entrepreneurs on May 24.

Dreamplex, the ‘complex of entrepreneurial dreams’, comprises three floors of 500 square meters each, in the Miss Ao Dai Building. 

Dreamplex was built with investment capital of VND10 billion, and has 35 offices specifically reserved for startups.

VNPT-NET is another brand which benefited from Obama’s visit, though it is less known. The US leased the VNPT-NET’s transmission line to connect the US General Consulate in HCM City and the White House in the US.


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