This morning we travelled from Chau Duc to Ho Chi Minh City, or as it is also known, Saigon. After some normal travel hiccups, we had lunch at a fancy rest stop, and continued on to our hotel in Ho Chi Minh.
Finally, we visited with a lawyer who represents global companies in Vietnam and the region. She spoke at length about doing business here, including the effects of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It was interesting to hear how it has taken hold over a period of time. According to this lawyer, there are no exceptions for Americans doing business because bribery overseas can and will be prosecuted in the US. The interesting part was how local employees have adapted to talking about bribery openly since the law was passed and implemented. If you are wondering, as I did, how business still happened without “gifting,” it is with corporate messaging that the company will stand behind local employees who may make less money because they do the right thing.
Now we are at an incredible barbecue dinner to end the day!