Business on the Mekong

Mekong business lifeThe Mekong River flows through China, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

So it is a vital part of life for millions of people in these countries who operate their own businesses.

Fishing is a family business along the Mekong. Families work together in their small boats using nets to catch fish for the market. Fishing is one of the most important, sustainable industries for people along the river.

Farming is another industry along the Mekong that provides water for irrigation that is crucial for this industry.

As you travel along the Mekong you will come across markets that are operated from boats on the water. The farmers supply fruit and vegetables and, of course, the fisherman sell their fish as villagers come to purchase their daily needs. A Mekong market is an experience that many tourists have come to enjoy.

As you travel from Vietnam into Cambodia you come to the town of Kampong Cham. As well as having the region’s temple, Kampong Cham is known for its pottery.

Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia and is a bustling city with all types of businesses you would generally find in a major city. Tourism is a major industry all along the Mekong, but particularly in Phnom Penh with the history of the Pol Pot regime a major attraction.

Continuing up the river from Pnom Penh you will arrive at the Tonle Sap Lake which is one of the largest lakes in South East Asia. You will find restaurants and schools as well as a hospital on the lake.

You will eventually arrive at Siem Reap, well known for the Angkor Temples. Tourism is a major industry of Siem Reap with its associated hotels, restaurants, shopping, taxis and even golf courses.

So business on the Mekong is quite varied depending on the size of the towns and cities and the resourcefulness of the people.

If you would like to see some images of the Mekong’s beautiful people and vista, go to

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Doing Business in Vietnam

Vietnam is a wonderful country. However, if you want to start a business in Vietnam you will find it is extremely complex with a number of procedures that have to be undertaken.

Westerners need to be aware of cultural differences and I wonder if it is not easier for a Vietnamese person to start-up a business in a western culture rather than the other way around.

I found this excellent article on starting a business in Vietnam and I wanted to share it with you.


Doing business in Vietnam

Click here to read the full article.

Here are the key points I picked up from this article.

  1. Starting a business in Vietnam is extremely complex.
  2. Construction Permits take 2 and a half months and 11 different permits.
  3. Getting electricity can take almost 3 months and costs a significant amount of money.
  4. Registering property takes around 2 months.
  5. Getting credit is more difficult for overseas firms but the credit environment is stable.
  6. Investor protection is poor.
  7. Taxation is extremly burdonsome in terms of the number of tax payments and the time to complete.
  8. Trading across borders is cheap but complicated.
  9. In regards to culture, country and community concerns generally come before business.

If you are considering doing business in Vietnam it is important that you do your due diligence. I highly recommend you start by reading this article.

Here is some additional information about ‘Westerners Doing Business in Asia‘ that you might find helpful.


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Tips for Buying a Company

Whether you are in Asia or anywhere for that matter…

Buy a company

One way of getting started in business is to buy an existing company. By taking over an existing business, you can reduce all the pain of start-ups and obtaining finance can also be easier.

If you are starting a business for the first time, this can be a good idea because starting your own company is not a simple thing to undertake and if anyone ever tells you otherwise, I guarantee they do not know what they are talking about.

However, it does not remove the need for good due diligence and planning.

Whether you start a business or buy an existing company, the first question to ask is whether this is the right option for you. Running your own business is a lot different to being an employee. For example, you will need to deal with difficult customers, difficult employees as well as the unpredictability of business and particularly, cash flow.

When you own a business, the focus is completely onto you to ensure the success of the venture.

Once you have established that you and business are right for each other, you then need to do your homework on buying the business.

Locating the company that is right for you

There are a number of agencies or intermediaries that deal especially with the sale of businesses. Some or these intermediaries are generalists while some specialize in specific industries. Then some also specialize in businesses of a specific size, whether it be a small business or larger businesses.

Smaller businesses for sale can often be found in general type advertising. In fact, if you google ‘how do I find businesses for sale’ you will find many results. In fact, if you are looking for a local business you should add your location to the Google search term.

Doing Your Due Diligence

When you buy a company, it has history. You need to ensure there are no skeletons that can cause you problems.

Consequently, you need to do as much due diligence as you can in checking the business out. Determining the value of the business is a part of this process. You should engage an expert adviser to assist in this process as valuing a business is a specialist task.


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