SINGAPORE: Channel NewsAsia launched its Vietnam news bureau on Tuesday (Jul 21). The office, located in Hanoi, is the channel’s 14th dedicated bureau in Southeast and East Asia.
The launch event at the Sofitel Plaza Hotel in Hanoi was attended by government officials, business leaders and partners. Vietnam’s Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Vu Quang Minh said the channel would now be able to report on "Vietnam’s cares, interests and values" from the inside.
He shared a joke about how quickly the bureau was set up. “I somehow thought we had granted the licence to you only in three days - that’s too slow, so sorry about that," he said.
The joke, of course, reflected the current speed of development within the country.
Singapore Ambassador to Vietnam, Ng Teck Hean, said: “It is a country that has undergone significant changes during the last 20 years, and the country’s still evolving."
Dr Le Dang Doanh, senior fellow at Hanoi National University's Economic College, said: "Vietnam’s economy still relies too much on foreign direct investment, and Vietnam needs to reach higher share, higher contribution of the domestic economy."
Channel NewsAsia’s correspondent based in Hanoi, Tan Qiuyi, who has been based there since late last year, will file first-hand reports on the developments in a country that has one of the fastest growing economies in the region.
Some of her more recent reports of Vietnam included the country’s territorial conflict with China in the South China Sea, the opening up of the real estate market and Vietnam’s athletes who scored gold and glory at the 2015 Southeast Asian Games.
The opening of the bureau was announced by Ms Debra Soon, head of MediaCorp’s News and Premier Segment, last year at Channel NewsAsia’s Vietnam Business Insights forum.
“With our bureau in place here in Hanoi, we are extending our capability to report with depth and integrity. This is what the channel stands for, to create better understanding of Asia and what it has to offer the world,” Ms Soon said.
She added that the bureau would allow for more nuanced reporting from the country.
Ms Soon said: “To the outside world, this is the anniversary of the Vietnam War. To the Vietnamese, this is the anniversary of reunification. These subtle understandings and insights only come with being here on the ground, reporting from Asia, from within Asia. That’s what we believe we have to live up to: Understanding Asia and telling the rest of the world that this is what Asia is about.”
For many guests, the road to modernity appears to be have been finally opened to Vietnam with its young population looking to the future rather than dwelling on the past.
The bureau’s establishment comes at a time when the region is set to be further integrated, with the impending establishment of the ASEAN Community by the end of the year. The ASEAN Community will present tremendous opportunities for businesses, people-to-people exchange and closer regional economic integration, Channel NewsAsia noted.