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Vietnamese student hoping to sell coffee in Taiwan

2018/07/31 21:15:52

Nguyen (Right). Photo courtesy of Vietnamese Students Association of NTUST

Taipei, July 31 (CNA) Nguyen Thi Kim Lien (阮清玲), a Vietnamese student studying business administration in Taiwan, said Tuesday that she would like to import coffee beans from her hometown, roast them here and sell them locally.

Nguyen, a Ph.D. student at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST), is part of a cross-school team organized by the university's "Koo-idea Campus" platform to help small farmers in Vietnam, Indonesia and Laos market their products in Taiwan.

The platform seeks to benefit farmers, students and consumers through integrated curricula of micro-entrepreneurship, community marketing, factory implementation and store internships -- skills Nguyen said she would love to learn, since her purpose of studying here is to "gain the knowledge from school and apply it in the real world."

She hails from Dak Lak Province in central Vietnam, one of the biggest coffee-producing areas in Vietnam.

The province has 203,737 hectares of coffee plantations, with 180,500 small coffee farmers. She said her parents have 30 years of experience in growing coffee, but little experience in marketing it.

NTUST's coffee project fits in with her interest in helping her family in Vietnam, so she is happy to play a role in the student start-up business program in Taiwan.

"I prefer the title of this platform's ideas: A Vietnamese Girl Student Starts Up Coffee Business in Taiwan," she told CNA.

She said she plans to import green coffee beans "from my family to Taiwan, then I will roast them in Taiwan" because in so doing, her coffee will "have good flavor." She said she needs the support of her coffee teacher "who is teaching me everything about coffee" so that her products will have "special flavors" different to all the Vietnamese coffee products currently available in the Taiwan market.

"Without support from my friends and my teachers, I cannot do this project. Now I have some good friends who are supporting me, including Taiwanese friends and Vietnamese friends and in the future, they will keep supporting me, so we will share the tasks. That's why I can continue studying while doing my coffee business," she said.

In the future, she said, "I expect to have my own business related to agricultural products" such as black pepper, durian and avocados, which are also grown in her hometown.

"When I graduate, I will put all of my efforts into making the business bigger and stronger. Of course if I still have the chance, I will be happy to help with the school-industry project," she added.

Nguyen said she chose Taiwan for work and study "because Taiwan has economic development, with a very rich, deep-rooted culture. Studying in Taiwan, I have a good opportunity not only to get better knowledge about economics but also to improve my language ability, as well as to mix and work together with other international students to enrich my life."

(By S.C. Chang)