The Danish-Vietnamese ICT club discussed the way forward for Vietnam as a competitive ICT nation at a roundtable lunch meeting at the Embassy of Denmark in Hanoi on 22 November 2010. They agreed that human resources, the quality of education, and international outlook were key challenges.
Ambassador John Nielsen welcomed the club members by stressing that Vietnam was a country showing great opportunities in ICT, which was illustrated by more than 20 active Danish companies in Vietnam today. However, challenges like human resource management, the level and quality of education, intellectual property rights, and continued efforts to strengthen the legal framework were key areas to further develop the industry.
Vietnam Software and IT Service Association (VINASA) President and FPT Chairman mr. Truong Gia Binh stressed that the lunch guests were lucky to be part of Vietnam’s booming ICT industry which presently demonstrated a rapid development of mobile, television, communication, and infrastructure technologies. He encouraged Danish companies to contribute with those ICT solutions that were required to develop important sectors in Vietnam like transportation, health, and education where applying ICT could make a big difference.
Director of VINASA mr. Pham Tan Cong together with Vice-Director of the Social Science Institute mr. Vu Manh Loi shared their preliminary findings of an ongoing study on Vietnam’s ICT Landscape 2010. When VINASA was established in 2002 the sector’s revenue was USD 50 million and consisted of a work force of 5,000 people, whereas in 2009 these figures had increased to USD 1.5 billion and 105,000 ICT workers. Mr. Loi stressed that the Vietnamese home market showed great potential as more than 80 pct. of the youth from 14-25 years of age were very active in their use of internet, mobile, and new technologies. To obtain success in Vietnam foreign companies needed strategies for the booming domestic market.
Chairman of the Policy Advisory Committee on Software Industry (PACSI) mr. Bui Manh Hai stressed that good incentives were in place to develop the ICT industry, but that more efforts were needed, and that a continued close dialogue between the business community and relevant authorities was very important.
The club members discussed how Vietnam could improve the ICT sector’s competitiveness. To be on the cutting edge Vietnamese companies should to a higher degree obtain an international outlook by participating in international conferences. In order to continue and improve growth and competitiveness companies should also be better at linking up with universities, and from the government side there should be a larger focus on the quality of ICT educations to meet future demands.
The Danish-Vietnamese ICT club was established in 2009 and consists of 27 Danish, Vietnamese and joint-venture companies meeting regularly to discuss business opportunities and challenges in Vietnam’s ICT industry.