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AAAB AUGUST NEWSLETTER

From Vietnam to Arkansas, an unforgettable summer in 2022
 
Dear readers, 

My name is Đinh Uyên. I was a Vietnamese delegate of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Professional Fellows Program this summer, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the American Councils for International Education. 

The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program brings emerging leaders in the field of economic empowerment from Southeast Asia to the United States for intensive fellowships designed to broaden their professional expertise. Participants spend approximately six weeks in the United States. Through carefully designed full-time fellowships, they receive hands-on exposure to government offices, businesses, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations. 
Photo above: At Pinnacle Mountain and the Arkansas State Capitol

I was born in Ho Chi Minh City and lived in Taiwan for six years. I hold a master’s degree in Business Administration from the National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, and accumulated diverse experience and business perspectives from local and international enterprises in a variety of industries. I am currently working on the Management of Science and Technology Industrial Park Project at Becamex IDC, a leading industrial park and township developer in Vietnam. The project aims to establish an innovation arm and accelerate the economic transformation of Binh Duong, the manufacturing powerhouse of Asia located in the heart of the Southern Key Economic Zone, Vietnam. I am also the program manager of Block 71 Saigon, the strategic partnership between Becamex and the National University of Singapore Enterprise. As a tech ecosystem builder and global business connector, Block 71 Saigon supports Vietnamese startups in bringing their products and solutions to the international stage and foreign startups in building their presence in Vietnam.

As part of the YSEALI program, I went to Little Rock, Arkansas, where I immersed myself in the American culture while working at Arkansas Capital Corporation (ACC). During my 4-week stay, I observed the entrepreneurial development activities undertaken by ACC and many different entrepreneurial support organizations throughout the robust Arkansas entrepreneurial ecosystem. In Little Rock, I discovered the active programs at Winrock International and the Regional Innovation Hub. During a visit to Northwest Arkansas, I talked with the Director of Entrepreneurial Development at Northwest Arkansas Council and the founder of Startup Junkie. By listening to the establishing story of those organizations, I gained so much inspiration to improve my work back home. At the end of the fellowship, ACC offered enthusiastic support for the joint project I chose to undertake upon returning to Vietnam. Through this project, I wish to create opportunities for cross-border exchange regarding best practices, development experiences, and expertise between the U.S. and Vietnam.
Photo above: The coolest people and organization - Arkansas Capital Corporation (ACC)

My U.S. trip was a positive experience made possible by my host families in Little Rock, Arkansas. Even though I knew what to expect in the U.S. through books and movies, living with them was still a profoundly unique experience. My host families and I shared and exchanged our culture through delicious food and engaging conversations. We traveled and explored the beauty of Arkansas’ nature together so I could have a good understanding of Arkansas and the balance between work and life. I am grateful to have lived with two host families, made them Vietnamese spring rolls, and welcomed them to my city in the future. 

This trip has been a life-changing and eye-opening experience because of my friendship and meaningful connections in the U.S. and with distinguished fellows across Southeast Asia. During the program, I became fascinated by the uniqueness of the countries from Southeast Asia. Though geographically located in the same region, each country represents a vibrant culture and great potential for the future. I am so excited to come back and do more for Vietnam and promote the regional collaborations between fellow countries in Southeast Asia.

Warmest regards,

Đinh Uyên
Becamex IDC Corp
Bình Dương, Việt Nam
Photo above: A conference week in Washington DC with 90 other fellows from 11 countries of Southeast Asia. We are the lucky first batch to come back to the US after a 2,5-year break due to Covid.

AAAB ACTIVITIES

Past event: A festive 5-yr anniversary celebration night for the AAAB on August 31
Over sixty members from the AAAB community gathered and celebrated the five-year anniversary of the organization on August 31 at a locally owned restaurant Spoon Fusion Korea Oh K-Dog in Fayetteville. The event was sponsored by Tyson Foods, Engage Northwest Arkansas, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, and Ms. Yanyan Xie. The AAAB has been the only Asia-focused chamber of commerce in Arkansas. A strategic planning session for the organization is being planned for September 16 in Little Rock.
Upcoming event: Q3 "Arkansas-Asia Briefing" on September 15
The Zoom series "Arkansas-Asia Briefing" will continue with its Q3 event on September 15, 8 to 9 am CT, Thursday, September 15. The speakers at this occurrence will be the top executives from companies based in Arkansas and Asia: Arkansas Capital Corporation, FR8relay, and Deeping Source Inc. Register for free

AAAB MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Taste Tea Kitchen
Membership Type: Small Enterprise

Opened in 2022, Taste Tea Kitchen is a Chinese-owned Asian fusion carry-out restaurant and boba tea cafe that is located in Rogers, AR. Their goal is that they would like to introduce Asian culture, lifestyle and trends to Arkansas, starting with Asian fusion foods and drinks. Their extensive menu contains options like hibachi, bento box, bibimbap, curry, fried snacks, and more, so there is something for everyone! They have also begun to diversify and are working on bringing in boba tea accessories and other merchandise that can represent Asian culture.

If any AAAB member is in the Rogers area, they should stop by and have a conversation, because Taste Tea Kitchen hopes to connect with other businesses and professionals and participate in events that can contribute value to the Asia-Arkansas community.

Connect with Taste Tea Kitchen on Instagram and Facebook.

Would you like an opportunity to be spotlighted as a member? Contact us or
Become an AAAB Member

IN THE NATURAL STATE

Sequretek, a global cybersecurity company and FIS fintech accelerator alum, names Little Rock for U.S. headquarters - Arkansas INC

Global cybersecurity provider Sequretek announced August 16 that the opening of their U.S. headquarters will be in Little Rock Technology Park. Citing the innovative technology focus, talent access, and growth-friendly business environment as top reasons for naming Little Rock, Arkansas as their new corporate home. Based in India, the company plans to hire fifty new specialized positions in Little Rock over the next three years; 90% of which will be paid six-figure salaries. Learn more

Lineus Medical receives Japanese patent for SafeBreak® Vascular and U.S. patent for BVAD - PRLOG

Arkansas-based, Lineus Medical, continues to expand its patent portfolio with the issuance of two new patents. The first issued patent was a Japanese Utility Patent (JP7095097) for SafeBreak® Vascular, a break-away medical device that helps protect peripheral IV lines. The second issued patent was a US utility patent for a dual lumen peripheral IV catheter, BVAD (Bifurcated Venous Access Device). The issuance of both the Japanese patent for SafeBreak Vascular and US patent for BVAD are significant milestones as they expand their patent portfolio and look to expand internationally. Learn more

FR8relay CEO joins Forbes business council - AR Money & Politics

Founder and CEO of Arkansas-based technology startup FR8relay Aayush Thakur was recently accepted into the Forbes Business Council, the foremost growth and networking organization for successful business owners and leaders worldwide. FR8relay is an Arkansas-based technology company working to improve the trucking logistics ecosystem, and is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC). Learn more

Celebrate 75th year of India's independence with family and governor - Adita Karkera

On August 15, Arkansans took to celebrating the 75th Independence Day for India in the State Capitol. Adita Karkera’s father, who had witnessed the Independence Day celebration back in 1947, shared his memories at the State Capitol, where Governor Hutchinson delivered the keynote and hoisted the Indian and the American flags together. Learn more

AROUND THE WORLD

China trims lending rates again, one week after surprise cuts in key rates - CNBC
China trimmed its key lending rates again on August 15. The moves are seen as an attempt to revive credit demand and fire up the economy hurt by extended Covid lockdowns and property debt problems. Economists believe Covid-19 has simply masked a far more fundamental and permanent shift in the nature of the China economy: from boom growth period, agrarian, to consumer society. The rapid and far easier growth pace of the past is at an end, but even at 2% GDP growth, China would remain a powerhouse. Learn more
Property billionaire Manuel Villar is on a roll with new casino and media ventures - Forbes

Twelve years ago, businessman and senator Manuel Villar was crushed in his bid to get elected as president, winning only 15% of the votes. But that loss didn’t slow him down. He threw himself back into work, scaling up his main business of real estate development. In the near future, he plans to add a casino, a TV network, a theme park and a toll road to his sprawling real estate and retail empire; but Villar still promises real estate will be his primary focus. Although Villar is among Philippines' wealthiest, he is adamant that he would be richer had he not gone into politics since it was a waste of time. Learn more

U.S. and China announce deal to share audits of U.S.-listed Chinese firms - New York Times
American and Chinese officials have announced that an agreement has been reached that allows accounting firms in China to share more information with American Regulators about the finances of Chinese companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges. The agreement is a potentially big step toward resolving a conflict that had appeared likely to force some of China's largest companies to leave America stock exchanges starting in 2024. Learn more
Vietnam to start making Apple Watch and MacBook for first time - Business Insider
Apple is in talks to make Apple Watches and MacBooks in Vietnam, marking an extra win for the south-east Asian nation because the US tech company seeks to diversify manufacturing away from China. Vietnam is already Apple’s most essential manufacturing hub outside China, producing a variety of flagship merchandise for the American firm, together with iPad tablets and AirPods earphones. China’s role as the world’s most important factory has been challenged since the trade war and then later its energy and zero-Covid policies. That makes Vietnam, which is close to China, an ideal destination for many electronics makers to relocate to. Learn more
Saudi Arabia renews $3B deposit to Pakistan - Arab News
According to anonymous sources, Saudi Arabia is planning to renew its $3 billion deposit to help Pakistan manage its ongoing current-account crisis and fight rising inflation, all while Islamabad negotiates an aid package with the IMF. The Kingdom also aims to provide $100 million per month for 10 months in petroleum products as an additional support. Saudi Arabia has been coordinating with the IMF to ensure that Pakistan is always offered complete support. This commitment is likely to be released soon. Learn more

ANYTHING ASIA

Tim Page, Gonzo photographer of the Vietnam War, is dead at 78 - New York Times

Tim Page, one of the preeminent photographers of the Vietnam war, known as much for his larger-than-life personality as for his intense and powerful combat photos, died on August 24 at his home in New South Wales, Australia from liver cancer. Page’s Vietnam pictures appeared in publications around the world in the 1960s, but not without serious drawbacks. He created iconic images of the Vietnam War while working for news organizations including the AP, UPI, Time-Life and Paris Match. Learn more

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The AAAB mission
  1. To support the professional growth of those Arkansans of Asian descent and to promote Asian-owned businesses in Arkansas;
  2. To provide assistance to Arkansas companies looking to explore Asian markets;
  3. To provide resources for companies and professionals from Asian countries looking to explore business opportunities with Arkansas;
  4. Overall, to be an advocate for entrepreneurship that is related to Arkansas and Asia.
AAAB Board of Directors
Katie Thompson | Mimi San Pedro | Yang Luo-Branch | Mark Young | Rahul "Andy" Kumar
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