Officials of a south Georgia paving company are planning to visit Vietnam in December to investigate the possibility of working on the development of the country’s roads and to set up exchange programs for visiting engineers and construction supervisors.

Douglas (GA.) Asphalt Co., some 45 miles northwest of Waycross, has explored business opportunities in Vietnam since diplomatic relations improved last year.  The company’s interest in Vietnam, however, has intensified with its participation in the Vietnam Business Fellows program, according to Ted Madson, a company attorney.

Nguyen Quoc Hiep, a vice president with the Vietnam International Construction Corp. (VINACONEX), is one of eight participants in the program of the U.S. Vietnam Trade Forum and the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, which provides high-level internships for Vietnamese executives and government officials in U.S. companies.

Mr. Hiep has been with Douglas Asphalt since  October 4 and soon will be visiting Connecticut and Washington D.C., where he will meet with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Frederico Pena, before returning home. “I’m having a very good time and have received much hospitality here,” Mr. Hiep told GlobalFax during a short telephone interview.

He praised the quality of the company’s construction and machinery and has encouraged Douglas executives to prepare international tenders for projects to develop two national highways in Vietnam.

A veteran of the North Vietnamese Army, Mr. Hiep has met with local U.S. veterans including Secretary of State Max Cleland. “We were on opposite sides, but now we are friends,” Mr. Hiep said of Mr. Cleland and other veterans whom he has met in Georgia.

For more information, call Mr. Madson at (912) 384-8114.