EB5 Investors Magazine - Page 90

The Growth of EB-5 in Vietnam Chris Dao is the lively director of U.S. Investment Services, a Vietnamese EB-5 consultancy company. Since 2009, Dao and his team have been matching Vietnamese investors with compatible EB-5 projects in the United States. Dao, however, is not new to the U.S. investment game—he began his career over 20 years ago working with U.S. real estate in Atlanta, Georgia. He has since returned to Vietnam, bringing with him years worth of insight into the American market. We caught up with Dao, one of his prospective investors, and editorial board member Kate Kalmykov for a delightful afternoon during his recent trip to California to meet with project principals. Charming and personable, it is no wonder that a man who prides himself on building relationships has been able to build a successful EB-5 outfit in Vietnam. A conversation with Chris Dao of USIS Staff: How did you get your start in EB-5? Chis Dao: I was living and working in real estate in the United States in the late 2000s when I first learned about EB-5. I returned to Vietnam in 2008 to take care of my mother who was ill, and I spoke to some of my colleagues and friends in Vietnam and found that many people have an interest in EB-5. This gave me the confidence to relocate back to Vietnam and start my business. Through my research I found that every year thousands of Vietnamese students want to study abroad and that the United States is their number one choice. For a long time I have had the dream that Vietnamese youth would be able to get higher education in United States. I learned about many advantages of EB-5 over student visas. After a year of my own due diligence I started U.S. Investment Services (USIS), which was the first consultancy group in Vietnam that primarily focused on EB-5. Staff: Vietnamese demand for EB-5 has been growing over the past four to five years. Do you think that growth will continue? CD: I strongly believe it will continue to grow tremendously in the next couple of years. Each year I am getting more interest in the program. One of the main reasons is that we build up our reputation. We have a successful record and we get repeat clients and referral business, and that is our strength. 88 EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE