Obama Praises Tech Entrepreneurs in Vietnam

U.S. President Barack Obama uses an iPad as he tours the DreamPlex Coworking Space in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Tuesday, May 24, 2016.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

President Barack Obama met with tech entrepreneurs in Vietnam today, praising them for striking out to create their own businesses.

During his remarks, the president praised entrepreneurship for “fueling prosperity” in Vietnam and “boldly racing towards the future.” He did not inform the young entrepreneurs that they did not build their businesses, but rather recognized the challenges faced by business startups around the world.

“Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It’s not easy in the United States; it’s not easy here in Vietnam; it’s not easy anyplace in the world,” he said. “It can be tough to get started. It’s hard to access capital.”

Obama made his remarks while touring the DreamPlex Coworking Space in Ho Chi Minh City. As he made his way through the exhibits, Obama took some time to have some fun with an iPad.

According to the press pool, Obama picked up the iPad and held it in front of his face while cartoon figures on a second screen moved.

“Look at this guys,” he said, before reporters were ushered out of the room.

Later in his remarks, he referred to “a virtual game that can help people recover from nerve injuries,” which may have been referring to the iPad program he was experimenting with.

During his speech he touted his TPP trade agenda for potentially bringing the Vietnam and United States economies together.

“TPP will not only let us sell more of our goods to each other and bring our economies closer together, it will accelerate economic reforms here in Vietnam, boost your economic competitiveness, open up new markets not only for large companies but also for small and medium-sized businesses,” he said.