Wednesday, February 15, 2012

ASEAN Web radio

I was thinking about starting a web based radio for the ASEAN region. Question is, where should it be located? The idea is, that we can play music from all ASEAN countries (modern mainly), but people can also record reports and publish it, as well as we can record and broadcast skype conference calls. Anyone into this?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Be aware of scammers in Vietnam

Saigon was a wonderful place to live and we never had a real bad experience. Unfortunatly this isn't the case for everyone. Adam is reporting about Scammers a lot. If you plan to visit Saigon, I highly recommend to read hos blog first. Not that I want you to say home. Just be aware of the scam and say No the first time the scammers approach you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blogging in Lao or English?

On topic appears on many of the Barcamps and conferences I attended so far: In what language I should blog? The most common answer is: The language of your audience. If my readers are German nationals, I would blog in German. Since this blog here is read by mostly foreigners, it is in English. Would I blog about Laos (if I could write Lao)? No. The reason is simple: Google. No search engine right now understands Lao. So whenever people searching for any Lao related content, they search in English. If I want my content to be found I have to write in English. so if people in Lao write only in Lao, the audience is quite small. Only Lao people will read it. So, in case you are Lao and want to start a blog, consider having it at least bi-lingual. So you can not only increase your traffic, but also the content about Laos in the World Wide Web.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Watch your dogs!

Got this message from ARC in Phu My Hung: At ARC we have recently heard a number of frightening stories about families losing dogs while they have been out walking them. In some cases, it seems that the dogs were targeted, and maybe were taken for ransom. In other cases however, they have been taken or injured, or even killed, in seemingly opportunistic attacks, perhaps for food, perhaps just for fun! What is common to all losses that we have heard about is that the owners were walking their dogs off the lead/leash. Just that few seconds of distance from the owner has given attackers the time they need to catch or kill the dog. Right in front of the owner, who is powerless to do anything to protect their pet! The attacks that we have heard about have taken place in D2, Thao Dien. They may well be happening in other places (and we would like to know if that is the case). Without wanting to scare or panic, ARC asks that you please consider how you walk your dog. For the sake of your family and your pet, please don’t walk dogs off the leash. Make sure that you have your dog on the leash at all times, so that if there is a time when you feel that someone may want to harm the animal, you still have some control.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

You basically cannot hire foreigners anymore

So the Vietnamese government issued a degree that makes it basically impossible to hire foreigners anymore.

It is already quite difficult for foreigners to get a work permit there, but now the government makes it even worst.

The decree stipulates that 30 days before recruiting foreign workers for some posts, employers must notify the needs of recruiting Vietnamese workers for the same posts on local and central newspapers. When applying for granting work permits to foreigners, enterprises have to present the documents to prove the job information publishing.

The problem is that degrees like that are actually targeted on the illegal chinese workers in construction and mining. But of course you cannot make a law just for Chinese workers. So the law covers all foreigners. and here starts the problem.

First of all, the reason why you hire a foreigner, who is more expensive than local staff, is because you cannot find a local who can do the job. So you already DID the homework searching desperately for skilled people. There are just not enough of them.

That leads to the VN education system. People with a certificate, diploma or whatever think they are skilled, but usually they are not. It is in many times not worth the paper it is printed on. You have to train people all the time in your company, and often enough once the received proper training, they quit and start their own business, becoming a competitor (not much successful usually, but that is a different story).

While the gov takes no real efforts in lifting the standards of education significantly (for example by reducing the hours teaching socialism and Uncle Ho's history), they now leave it to the private sector to solve the problem.

Meanwhile, the Article No 132 of the Labor Code stipulates that FIEs in Vietnam can recruit foreign workers for the posts that require high qualifications for certain periods, provided that the enterprises have plans on training Vietnamese workers who can replace the foreign workers.

So even if you finally hired a foreigner, you have to train local staff to get this persons knowledge. Do they really believe this works?

It seems that Vietnam do not want openly offend their brothers in Bejing, so they rather offend western companies. They may have forgotten where the money came for the boom. And that this western companies already start to pull the money out since it is becoming more risky and dangerous. State owned companies are either bankrupt already or close to. So what's left then are some Russian and Chinese (also Japanese and Korean) companies. But they will have the same foreigner problem. If they pull out as well, it will be a major bump for the VN economy. There is already not much innovation and market developing going on my local businesses, and VN - as World bank reports and others mentioned many time - will rely on foreign support for more years. They put this on risk now.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Warning: Forever Freedom international is a MLM scheme!!

Just received emails that a company called FFI (Forever Freedom International) is starting to do business in Vietnam. Do NOT call them or get into any business. It is a MLM scheme, or Snowball scheme, and I do not see any real opportunity for you. Ad the end, you will end up like Herbalife sales people and desperately looking for new customers while having lost most of your friends already since you sold them basically useless and over priced products.
So please stay away from FFI and warn your friends about it

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Common people stories - a new blog

I started a new blog. I tell the stories about common people I met and know in Asia. Not the heroes from CNN or newspapers. It is about neighbors, guards, waiters, shop owners - average people. You want your story being told? Message me!