Labour Hero in Renovation Period, Veteran Businessman Le Van Kiem: Upholding Soldierly Virtues to Become Pioneer in Economic Front

Not only sacrificing enormously for national independence in the wartime, he has now contributed to the national economic development. He is Labour Hero of the Renovation Period Le Van Kiem, President of Long Thanh Golf Investment and Trading Joint Stock Company and President of KN Long Thanh-Vientiane Group in Lao People’s Democratic Republic. He is the most prestigious businessman and the biggest charity donor in Vietnam ever recognised by the community.

Decent virtue and pure heart – keys to success

The university was not only a place for him to gain knowledge, but also a place to drill his morality and confidence.

After graduation from the university as an engineer, Kiem, with his burning patriotism and youthful aspiration, used his blood to write a letter to register to voluntarily join the army again in early 1971. Then, he wrote a letter for his march to the southern battlefield where the war was fiercely escalating. On historic April 30, 1975, he was in Saigon and took over the Ministry of Transport – Public Works from the old regime. He later worked at Saigon-Gia Dinh City Military Administration Committee. He was proud to be a liberation soldier who witnessed a historic moment of the nation. The nation was reunified and his family was reunited in happiness too. In 1976, his daughter Le Nu Thuy Duong was born. His salary was then not enough to cover the family needs. Thus, he worked for the company in the daytime and produced animal feed in the night time for extra money to improve his livelihood in the self-subsistence period of the nation. And, he gradually realised that the private business mechanism was more open than the State-run one. So, he decided to move to a private business and joined the family to set up a feed processing complex. He was also successful in non-fading pigment used in the construction industry and he then stepped into the garment industry. Huy Hoang Company was the largest in Vietnam at that time.

Looking at what Mr Kiem has been doing, we can see that the greatest kindness of an entrepreneur is making a profit for the business from efficient performance, contributing to the fatherland and creating jobs for many workers, including descendants of his comrades.

Turning wasteland into treasure

With his kindness and respect for companionship, he and his family have done many social charity activities in Vietnam and other countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Cuba, Thailand and Japan. Meaningfully, he has funded thanksgiving movements; financed heart surgeries for children with congenital heart diseases and eye surgeries to bring light to the blind and the poor; delivered relief to victims of natural disasters and floods; provided aid to Agent Orange victims; donated funds for orphanages; built houses in gratitude for people with great sacrifice to the nation, families with martyrs and heroic Vietnamese mothers. He has also granted scholarships to disadvantaged students with excellent study records to continue their education; donated money to embellish revolutionary historical relics such as the Central Base of the Southern Bureau in Tay Ninh province and Dong Loc Junction in Ha Tinh province. He has spent up to VND750 billion for these works. “There are still many unhappy and difficult lives somewhere. They need help to have a better life. My wife and I are very happy to help them,” said Kiem. Behind the great success of this well-respected entrepreneur is the huge contribution of his wife, Ms Tran Cam Nhung. “Whatever I have achieved to date, there are her countless contributions. We grew up in the wartime, fell in love and got married. It is 47 years of sweet love and hard work. When she was young, she was my lover. At work, she is my colleague. At home, she is my wife and my “physician”.

Entrepreneur Le Van Kiem added that his two children are also working for the family company. His eldest son, Le Huy Hoang, is currently in charge of investment projects in Laos, while his daughter, Le Nu Thuy Duong, who studied in Australia and the Netherlands, is currently the managing director of 10 local companies. Recently, Long Thanh Golf signed a joint venture cooperation with two big Japanese corporations, HIS and Maeda. Specifically, Golf Long Thanh and HIS Travel Group join hands to build a 4-star hotel and a 5-star hotel in a resort of Long Thanh Golf in Bai Dai Beach (Cam Ranh, Khanh Hoa). The company together with Maeda Group is jointly building highway and infrastructure projects in Vietnam. This is another step he has taken in the business career and people will get more work because of his upcoming projects with prestigious Japanese corporations.

Van Luong

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