Sonadezi’s story: “A stranger” at Ministry of Industry

At the end of 1992, the first Taiwanese enterprises in Dong Nai looking for investment opportunities surveyed a land area for a new industrial park that was close to the highway connecting Ho Chi Minh City with Bien Hoa.

With business acumen and experience of industrial development for more than two decades in Taiwan, these investors found this to be an ideal investment location for manufacturing electrical wires and cables. They also believed that the domestic market for these products would quickly explode when Vietnam implemented reforms and opened its border.

They were then introduced to a 6-hectare plot of land to apply for an investment license for Viet Son Minh Electric Wire and Cable Joint Stock Company. Mr. Diep Nghi Minh was the representative of a group of Taiwanese investors contributing capital to this project.

With strong support from Sonadezi and Dong Nai’s departments, everything was going smoothly, from site determination, measurement and mapping for explanation on land use structures… to drafting the application for a investment licenses in Vietnamese, English, and Chinese. In only a short duration, all documents were prepared and submitted to the Appraisal Center of the Hanoi-based State Commission for Cooperation and Investment (SCCI).

After more than a month of consulting relevant ministries on the project application before the Appraisal Center advised the SCCI Chairman, there was a bad news: The Ministry of Heavy Industries did not approve the proposal as two factories with similar products had been in operation in Bien Hoa city. These projects were able to provide products to local market and also for exports to other countries.

In response, Sonadezi leaders and staff who prepared the project’s technical and economic justification report had to travel to Hanoi to personally explain and convince the Ministry of Heavy Industries to allow the project to be implemented. After we basically convinced the Ministry of Heavy Industries, there remained conflicting opinions, requiring additional explanations and commitments of investors. This task was assigned to Mr. Vu Ngoc Tuy, the Company’s Finance and Sales Director. The Director of the Company requested Mr. Tuy to prepare and bring all documents to the Office of the Ministry of Heavy Industries for in-person and additional explanations.

After initial efforts, the Department in charge under the Ministry of Heavy Industries was not totally convinced, so Mr. Tuy had to stay in Hanoi for days to handle the work. Dressed in casual clothes, the “stranger” Vu Ngoc Tuy patiently waited at the Ministry of Heavy Industries to get approval for the project. This even triggered a ministerial leader to call the Director of the Company asking that “Who is the guy from the Company hanging around our office?”…

Mr. Tuy’s determination and persuasive explanation eventually removed the project’s bottleneck. The Ministry of Heavy Industries approved the project to be implemented in Dong Nai with conditions on the market and product quality.

The project being licensed for investment was the great joy of “the stranger hanging around all day at the Ministry of Industry” as well as Sonadezi’s investors and employees. This is a lesson to all Sonadezi’s employees on “persistence, patience and power of not giving up that could lead us to success”.