Archive for the ‘Vietnam’ Category

Collaborator Profile: Graham Simmons (Sydney, Australia)

September 26, 2012


My name is Graham Simmons. Born in Albury, raised in Sydney and Melbourne and lowered in Canberra. Began my career in the Bureau of Agricultural Economics working on wool marketing and a range of other rural issues. Then a mid-life interlude enjoying the lifestyles of Indonesia and SE Asia. Have spent the last 18 years as a travel writer/photographer. I am currently biding my time playing a little golf and doing some landscaping while trying to figure out what on earth meaningful travel is all about.

What is exciting you at present?

I think that the Cockatoo Network makes an outstanding contribution to bringing regional development issues from around the globe to the attention of stakeholders and policy makers. It has certainly got me thinking about how the travel journalism that nowadays so often lacks depth could be re-shaped as a means for connecting people in different countries.

One project I have in mind is to capture on film and in print the thoughts and ideas of some of the amazing, but unknown, community leaders in the developing world. An example is the businesspeople of Africa who are revolutionising the use of mobile phones for private banking and for business communications in a continent where landlines are at best scarce. My wish is to take their dreams and ideas onto a bigger stage by connecting them up with folks with similar aims and mindsets.

Example – the Vietnamese poultry farmer I photographed a couple of years back – see
– please note these photos are rights protected). If I had my time over again, I’d like to grab an interpreter and quiz him about his business plans. Who knows, he could be a budding entrepreneur just looking for that career break! And the Cockatoo Network could help us develop the collaborative pathways for him and many others like him.

If anyone has any thoughts on how this idea can be furthered, please contact me care of Cockatoo or E-mail

If anyone has any thoughts on how this idea can be furthered, please contact me care of Cockatoo or E-mail

And here’s a link to some published articles (interview with the son of the late President of Zambia for the Sun-Herald)

The New Industry Policy

April 15, 2009

We are detecting a distinct shift in industry policy throughout the developed world.

It follows from the leadership by the OECD and UNIDO over the last decade about the critical role of collaboration in driving innovation, investment and trade outcomes. These themes are now being reinforced by the World Bank, the Obama Administration and the G20 meeting, where the need for collaboration around a common problem was the central theme.

This collaborative approach has of course been seen at the local level in Italy and France for many years, and more recently national governments – for example in the UK, Sweden, Spain, Japan, Canada – have begun devolving programs and budgets to the local level.

This means that regions like Catalonia and Yorkshire are assuming international credibility as places to invest and do business. As highlighted by the international agencies, the driver for much of this success is public-private collaboration. And the most popular technique is to align this collaboration around hubs, precincts, innovation centres, networks and clusters. Such points of alignment are just as relevant at the very localised level, based on the notion that in an increasingly economic rationalist world, small cities and towns have to collaborate to create or highlight their competitive advantages.

The Cockatoo mantra is that every community has a competitive advantage at a few things – we actually get local groups or councils to think about FIVE activities where they can kick goals.

For example, in Quang Nam province (Vietnam) we are working with local leaders to realise outcomes in food (especially pork and gourmet foods), building and construction materials, eco-tourism, forestry and furniture, and the creative industries. Why five? Because most of us can remember five things, and less than five and you’re not trying hard enough! And in each of these industries, there are hubs and networks that need to be nurtured as focal points for collaboration.

The Cockatoo Network believes that unless regions and towns build these collaborative structures, then investors and governments will continue to take the soft option, with resources gravitating to the big cities.

That’s why we specialise in connecting up the players via network and cluster agendas, and attract investment around hubs and precincts. We also prepare submissions to government agencies and the investor community to appreciate and support these collaborative initiatives.

Nestlé wins accolades in Vietnam (BEST PRACTICE)

January 15, 2009


Michael Porter, in his recent Vietnam address, stressed the need for a Corporate Social Agenda.


Somewhat surprisingly, he used the example of Nestlé, which entered the poor Moga region of India in 1962.


In this case study, the local milk supply was hampered by small parcels of land, poor soil, periodic droughts, animal disease, and lack of a commercial market. Nestlé therefore established local milk purchasing organizations in each town, and invested in improving the competitive context as follows:


§          Collection infrastructure such as refrigerated dairies was accompanied by veterinarians, nutritionists, agronomists, and quality assurance experts to assist small farmers.

§          Medicines and nutritional supplements were provided to improve animal health.

§          Monthly training sessions were held for local farmers.

§          Wells to secure water supply for animals – with financing and technical assistance from Nestlé.


Nestlé has now built a productive milk cluster in Moga, buying milk from more than 75,000 farmers through 650 local dairies. Moga has dramatically improved social conditions.


Vietnam needs major administrative reforms, says Porter

January 15, 2009


Professor Michael Porter gave a seminar on global competitiveness in Ho Chi Minh City in December – 700 were in attendance!


He said that Vietnam has achieved remarkable growth and progress over the last two decades, but the reforms are not sufficient enough to help it move up to an average-income nation; Vietnam’s reforms are fragmented.


He suggested that Vietnam needs a long-term economic strategy and a set of correlative factors, insisting of innovative policies and strict mechanism and implementation.

Vietnam has made substantial progress in opening up the financial markets. Vietnam should continue this policy in line with WTO commitments and build an efficient, independent financial management paradigm.

It needs a totally new approach in administration reform, including assessing and managing regulations, as well as reforms in human resources; State-owned enterprises. Other key messages included:

§          Vietnam’s clusters tend to be narrowly focused on individual products.

§          There is limited collaboration among companies, suppliers and other institutions.

§          Some clusters, like coffee, can significantly grow if they adopt a collaboration approach.

§          Cluster-based development thinking is crucial in improving the delivery of other economic policies.

§         Need to focus on skill development around clusters; FDI attraction/industrial zones around clusters; quality and technology transfer; upgrading all existing and emerging clusters.

Vietnam clusters + capacity building

November 12, 2008

The Cockatoo Network is currently in discussions concerning the use of clustering programs to build capacity and attract FDI to Vietnam.


If you have capability in this field, you are invited to register your interest with us.