Fresh push urged for Vietnamese products

December 22, 2022 | 10:03
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While the position and value of Vietnamese tech products are increasing in the global market with the growing presence of titans, more solutions are urged to encourage more to venture afield into globally, and to fully tap the domestic market.

Currently, FPT is expanding its performance overseas after making initial successes. General director Nguyen Van Khoa said that 2022 has marked an important year for FPT, with orders overseas reaching an estimated $1 billion.

“FPT is now focused on consulting and designing services, and developing digital transformation projects and Vietnamese-made solutions for top companies around the world. We have even overtaken big rivals from China and India,” Khoa noted at the National Forum on Development of Digital Technology Businesses, held on December 8 by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).

He elaborated that in Europe, FPT is working with a major German automobile group which boasts 77 factories globally on research, development, and deployment of smart factory solutions to optimise production, logistics, and operations, thus helping reduce emissions and save energy. FPT is also working with European energy businesses and some in the US on deploying other tech solutions.

Twenty years ago when FPT focused on the export of software, the company mainly took part in outsourcing. FPT then decided to go global and learn experience for domestic operations. After an initial failure in trying to crack the United States, FPT pivoted to Japan as the next market and made success here.

Changing business strategy when required has been a key to success for FPT. “In the past five years, we changed the strategy towards core digital technologies to serve digital transformation and we are benefiting from it,” Khoa said.

Fresh push urged for Vietnamese products

Increasing position

Like FPT, other Vietnamese tech giants are also making gains in the international market. Nguyen Trung Chinh, chairman of CMC, said the global market is essential. Besides software, it is providing telecommunications services in many countries. The company is now present in 20 countries.

“Regarding exports, CMC is concentrating on Japan, South Korea, the EU, and the US. In the upcoming time, we plan to expand further in the US,” he told VIR. “Before 2025, CMC aims to increase revenues to $1 billion at home and abroad from the current $400 million. We aim to increase the overseas business performance contribution to 40-50 per cent of the total.”

Chinh is confident with his expansion plan overseas because he has quality human resources. Its computing cloud solutions have also won various international awards, putting it on par with international powerful players globally. CMC is also one of Microsoft’s global tech partners.

Last month, the company established CMC University – the first digital university in Vietnam – and debuted the CMC Data Centre in August, with the aim to turn Vietnam into a digital hub in the region.

Others are also expanding rapidly abroad. According to Le Minh Ha, director of Viettel Business Solutions Corporation, its smart monitoring and control centres are available in many countries such as Peru. The company also brings its digital education solutions to international markets such as Laos and Cambodia.

In the 10 countries where Viettel has investment, it has also launched Viettel Money. In addition, its information secturity monitoring centre solutions are available in the same markets, as well as for customers in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Laos, and South Africa.

Ha said, “In 2023, we will expand the smart monitoring and control centre solution to Laos and Cambodia. Also next year, the company aims to launch 5G in the 10 countries where it invests. In early 2023, we also plan to launch 5G in Asia.”

The strong global expansion by FPT, CMC, and Viettel not only significantly contributes to their overall growth, but also improving the value and position of Vietnamese tech products and solutions in the global tech map, thus contributing to obtaining the country’s goals of industrialisation and modernisation by 2030, with the vision towards 2045.

According to the MIC, Vietnam now has about 1,400 tech firms that have products and solutions going international. It is estimated that the digital tech industry might make revenues of $16 billion for the whole of 2022.

Untapped potential

Nguyen Thien Nghia, vice head of the MIC’s Department of Information and Communications, said that 10-15 years ago, Vietnamese tech firms mainly carried out outsourcing. “In recent time, the situation has changed. They now can build complete products and solutions customised by international partners,” Nghia said. The industry’s software revenue with international partners is estimated at $2.2 billion in 2022.

“This trend shows that Vietnam is gradually improving its position and value in the global market. For instance, not many tech manufacturers in Asia and the world can carry out chip production. The ecosystem of the microchip electronics industry is developing rapidly in the region,” said Nghia. “Some countries like Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia do not do the final stage of chips, so this is an opportunity for Vietnamese firms to join in the global supply and value chain.”

In spite of this, Vietnam does not have many global adventurers like FPT, CMC, and Viettel. It does, however, boast more than 65,000 digital tech firms.

Vietnamese tech companies, even giant ones, have not yet fully tapped the domestic market because there are plenty of unsolved tech-driven problems in the country. They include a lack of quality tourism apps, tech that can automatically measure traffic flow, and other examples.

Chinh of CMC recommended the government to have incentive policies on tax, capital, land and administrative procedures for cloud businesses, while having policies to encourage home-made products, develop human resources, and attract domestic and international businesses in funding digital infrastructure and related platforms.

Similarly, Nguyen of FPT proposed the government to more strongly develop the ecosystem of Make-in-Vietnam products and solutions for each sector and industry, strengthen diplomatic relations in the tech industry, further accelerate national digital transformation, and develop manpower in the field.

Pham Duc Long-Deputy Minister of Information and Communications
Fresh push urged for Vietnamese products

The first National Forum on Development of Digital Enterprises in 2019 marked an important period of time for Vietnamese digital tech businesses to enter a new development period known as Make-in-Vietnam – meaning doing research, creation, and manufacturing of digital products in Vietnam.

Without the Make-in-Vietnam orientation, the country is unable to become developed, global, and prosperous.

Last year, we pointed out the problems to be solved for national digital transformation and the mission of Vietnamese digital tech enterprises in developing platforms for national digital transformation.

With the effort, the digital tech industry continues to be a spotlight in Vietnam’s economy, with revenues estimated to rise 10 per cent on-year to $148 billion in 2022. The number of related businesses has risen to more than 70,000 and the industry’s exports are estimated to hit $136 billion this year.

Digital technology businesses in Vietnam reaffirm their pioneering role in doing research, innovating, and mastering technology, contributing significantly to accelerating national digital transformation and innovation.

Industry 4.0 is the revolution based on digital platforms, digital data, creative ideas, and innovative startups. This revolution is opening new development space for all industries and sectors, as well as new beginnings with new missions and visions.

The Vietnamese digital tech business community needs to keep up with the transformation to make new creations for the future. Now Vietnamese companies in this field have a bigger responsibility and mission – to tap into digital tech to further accelerate and go global; to take digital transformation as a breakthrough to realise the country’s modernisation; and to take the domestic market as the springboard to become mature.

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Vietnam is facing a shortage of human resources in information technology while the country needs to promote the strong development of the digital economy, according to a government report.

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Mobilising private investment in sci-tech and innovation development should be strengthened towards sustainable development goals, experts said. With that, Vietnam is required to be bold and experiment with policies to attract more investment from the private sector.

By Bich Thuy

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