Exciting possibilities open up thanks to Nordic expertise

June 04, 2022 | 16:10
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Diversity and inclusion enable everyone to reach their full potential. Thue Quist Thomasen, chairman of the Nordic Chamber of Commerce Vietnam, explained to VIR’s Nguyen Thu how Nordic companies can help develop the next generation of Vietnamese business leaders.
Exciting possibilities open up thanks to Nordic expertise
Thue Quist Thomasen, chairman of the Nordic Chamber of Commerce Vietnam

On June 1, Nordic companies, diplomats, and business leaders will gather in Ho Chi Minh City for a major conference to promote inclusive and sustainable business practices in Vietnam. Could you explain more about the theme of this year?

Diversity and inclusion are becoming key topics in our company conversations. I believe that there are many great examples of how Nordic countries and companies exemplify diversity and inclusion in all aspects of life: society, economy, people, and resources.

We hope these practices can be shared to build better businesses in Vietnam, and that is the reason why we are promoting this theme at the conference, entitled Work the Nordic Way 2022.

The pandemic has been a curveball for the human resources (HR) market in Vietnam, so what do you expect from your event?

Businesses are getting stronger this year, and we want to leave the pandemic behind. Job opportunities look for qualified Vietnamese job-seekers and business opportunities look for the right partners.

So we aim to create a platform where we can connect Nordic alumni or Vietnamese talents with Nordic companies, to build a full investment circle. This certainly helps to boost the HR market in Vietnam.

What sectors are Nordic companies interested in investing in here?

Thanks to the growing consumer class and dynamic workforce, Vietnam has become an attractive place for foreign investors, including Nordic businesses. By September 2021, there were 315 projects with a total registered investment of approximately $1.1 billion coming directly from investors of Nordic countries.

These investors have funded a wide range of business activities such as textiles, IT, logistics, food and beverages, renewable energy, healthcare, and more. Through these investments, Nordic companies and investors contribute to the sustainable development of Vietnam’s economy.

What are the challenges for foreign businesses in Vietnam in terms of HR?

There are several barriers for such firms, especially Nordic companies, when operating in Vietnam. The first challenge is the shortage of high-skilled and technical workers. Even though the number of workers with vocational training and skills has increased, this is still very low compared to the demands of foreign-invested enterprises.

For Nordic firms, high-tech and high-level service workers with good knowledge of technology or Nordic working culture are significantly limited. Moreover, Vietnam’s current labour force has not yet been trained in industrial discipline. Therefore, they lack essential skills, such as some aspects of teamwork, and most of these enterprises have to retrain before recruiting.

Given these challenges, we suggest that the Vietnamese government should continue to reform the education and vocational training programme to meet business demands. On the one hand, the government should boost the quality and efficiency of vocational training programmes for Vietnamese workers, especially those in the rural areas, to meet the demand for skilled labourers in modern industry.

At the same time, the Vietnamese government should have policies to facilitate cooperation between companies and education centres to connect training and recruitment.

Ann Måwe-Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam

Nordic values are at the heart of Nordic business – none more so than an inclusive and diverse workforce. This is one which harnesses the talents of all staff and enables everyone to reach their full potential. In doing so, Nordic countries have been able to unlock greater innovation in business and create some of the world’s leading enterprises. I am delighted that these values are being promoted in Vietnam, and I hope that Vietnamese job-seekers will take this chance to meet business leaders in person and see how Nordic corporate culture can kickstart their careers.

Eva Maria Hansen-Head of HR Partnering & Operations, LEGO Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the most attractive countries for Nordic companies, with an educated, energetic pool of talented people who can drive our business forward in this fast-growing market. We are proud to do business here, and to share our values with those who join our team. We do not just invest in Vietnam, we also invest in our people and – through events such as this – we hope to be able to recruit and develop the next generation of Vietnamese business leaders.

By Nguyen Thu

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