PANO - André Dang Van Nha, a Vietnamese living in the southern Pacific island of New Caledonia runs S.M.S.P Group, one of the world’s largest nickel exploration companies. His living saying is that “I am a Vietnamese. So, why can’t I do what others can do”.
André Dang Van Nha was born in 1936 in Nouvelle-Calédonie Island, a French colony, into a Vietnamese family. His parents moved to this island to work as miners in the 1930s.
During his childhood, André Dang Van Nha lived in poverty and was called a number not his full name due to discrimination.
There was a time André Dang Van Nha and his wife had to live in exile in Australia for six years because of political developments in Nouvelle-Calédonie Island, resulting in different political parties.
The Vietnamese native used to be accused falsely as a North Vietnamese communist after he was blamed for donating to the island’s movement for independence.
Despites such barriers in life, Dang Van Nha started his business from scratch.
After studying in France, Dang Van Nha came back to the island and worked in automobiles. He became the exclusive representative for Toyota and General Motors in the island. And now, he is the CEO of S.M.S.P Group, running two nickel factories in South Pacific and the Republic of Korea.
Intelligent, talented and strong-willed, Dang Van Nha was watched by two French journalists. He became the hero of their newly-launched book entitled “Secret Dang in Vietnam”. A French film producer is going to adapt the book into a film.
Although he lives in Nouvelle-Calédonie Island, Dang Van Nha always regarded himsel as a Vietnamese and Vietnam as his motherland. He insisted on his Vietnamese origin even when the discrimination against the Vietnamese increased in 1950-1960.
To date, Dang Van Nha and his wife have helped build a Vietnamese pagoda and a tennis court on the island.
Dang Van Nha has thought of investing in the home-country since the unification of the country in 1975. However, it was not the right time then. Therefore, he had to wait until now. Dang Van Nha said that in the coming time, he would return Vietnam to find out which field he could invest in to help the home country with development.
Translated by Mai Huong