Former German vice chancellor: Coming to Vietnam a step forward in career

By Phuong Dong   April 17, 2019 | 11:36 pm PT
Former German vice chancellor: Coming to Vietnam a step forward in career
Philipp Roesler’s main task will be to consult with and support domestic startups. Photo by Reuters/Michael Dalder
Dr. Philipp Roesler, former vice chancellor of Germany, said his experience has prepared him for his new role in Vietnam supporting startups.

Speaking to the Vietnamese media a month after being named chairman of the advisory board of VinaCapital Ventures, one of the largest investment and asset management firms in Vietnam, he called the move a step forward in his career.

Roesler highlighted the similarities between leading a country and leading a business, saying both require a collective spirit and for the leader to understand the root of the issues.

His past experiences and relationships have therefore prepared him for his return to Vietnam, he said.

As VinaCapital Venture's executive responsible for consulting with and supporting startups, Roesler said his aim is to attract the largest possible number of foreign investors to Vietnam and take as many Vietnamese businesses overseas as possible.

He added that the firm prioritizes the quality of a start-up's staff and its leader's vision for the business model when choosing which ones to invest in.

Roesler is a German of Vietnamese origin. He was born in southern Soc Trang Province in 1973 and adopted by a German couple at nine months from a Christian orphange. Before entering politics, he was a cardiothoracic surgeon.

He was the youngest chairman of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) when he took office in May 2011, and served as vice chancellor and federal minister of economics and technology in Angela Merkel’s government until December 2013.

He resigned and quit politics after his Party lost in the 2013 elections.

Roesler's appointment at VinaCapital came after he became acquainted with its CEO and co-founder Don Lam at the World Economic Forum five years ago.

Roesler said he accepted the job because he felt the passion and burning enthusiasm of young Vietnamese startup founders.

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