Congratulations on receiving the award for outstanding achievement at the 17th World Congress on Engineering Asset Management. What does this mean to you?
I feel extraordinarily grateful and appreciative for this special recognition. I wish to take this opportunity to thank the Board of Directors of the International Society of Engineering Asset Management and RMIT University in Vietnam for sharing this most auspicious award with me.
|President of Ericsson Vietnam recognised for sci-tech contribution
Having worked in the ICT industry with Ericsson for almost 33 years across several countries, whilst also serving on a number of boards that focused on driving a more sustainable and inclusive environment during that period, I feel a great deal of pride in all the achievements that resulted from the collaborative spirit embodied in each of these organisations, business chambers, and associations.
I have been fortunate to be surrounded by very talented and motivated people throughout my career journey, all of whom contributed to our joint success and to making a long term positive impact on industry and society.
In Vietnam specifically, where I have served as president of Ericsson since 2017, I have been blessed with the best team a leader can ever hope for, inspiring me to perform and drive a company strategy and vision that is aligned with and in full support of the government’s ambition to promote the digital transformation of industry and society through mobile broadband technology.
Indeed, Vietnam is today on track to create and generate its next wave of sustained and inclusive socioeconomic development through sci-tech and innovation, enabled by 5G and Industry 4.0.
Ericsson has celebrated 30 years in Vietnam in 2023. How has Ericsson contributed to Vietnam’s socioeconomic development, and what achievements make you most proud?
We are extremely proud of the contribution we have made to Vietnam’s socioeconomic development and prosperity since 1993 through the mobile communication and broadband connectivity we have provided via the supply and installation of 2G-4G as well as commercial trial 5G network infrastructure and solutions across Vietnam.
Indeed, mobile broadband digital infrastructure has become the critical national infrastructure that will continue to drive and create the next wave of inclusive and sustained socioeconomic development in Vietnam, enabled by sci-tech and innovation.
I am also very proud that Ericsson has contributed to the ICT competence and capability development of many thousands of Vietnamese people that have worked for and with Ericsson, including our customers, training them in IT, network design, network planning, and network implementation.
Ericsson Vietnam also recently signed an agreement to launch an AI Lab in partnership with RMIT University, residing at its Ho Chi Minh City campus and which supports Vietnam’s ambition of becoming an AI Hub for ASEAN by 2030. This AI Lab initiative paves the way for the potential of future research and development (R&D) activities that we are also exploring in Vietnam.
We have increasingly localised many of our senior management positions in Ericsson Vietnam over the past several years, supporting the development of local Vietnamese leadership in our organisation. In addition, we have rotated many of our local Vietnamese talent across a number of international Ericsson markets on a short-term project basis, helping further develop their technical capabilities and international leadership experience.
This year, Ericsson also decided that Vietnam will now become one of our regional Cloud Factories, with many of our local engineers contributing to regional and global cloud project deployments across Ericsson’s global markets.
A further achievement and contribution to Vietnam’s increased trade has been our contribution to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement through my co-chairmanship role at the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam several years ago. Further to this, we are increasingly focused on integrating local Vietnamese suppliers into our Ericsson global supply chain, which has accelerated since the trade deal was implemented in 2020.
What inspires you most about Vietnam’s socioeconomic development journey and prosperity in the years to come?
We believe and trust in Vietnam as a stable and highly valued investment destination in terms of high-tech foreign direct investment, as well as it is high potential for R&D funding. The government of Vietnam has an obvious and inspiring vision for the future of its digital economy, which is expected to account for up to 30 per cent of GDP by 2030, as part of the national strategy for digital transformation and Industry 4.0.
By 2030, Vietnam also aims to become a top 30 country on the Global Cybersecurity Index, top 40 country on the Global Innovation Index, and top 50 country on the Global e-Government Development Index, as well as an AI hub for ASEAN.
Vietnam will also leverage the benefits of 5G digital infrastructure to accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0, achieving a labour productivity growth rate target of 7.5 per cent per annum by 2030, helping drive increased efficiencies across all industries.
As well as attracting more high-tech foreign investment through this increased productivity, Vietnam will also use 5G as an education and innovation platform to help stimulate startup entrepreneurship, creating new industries, companies, and jobs.
These are highly motivating and inspiring goals, and Ericsson is fully committed to supporting Vietnam in achieving all of these strategic objectives.
The Vietnamese government is taking positive steps to accelerate the digital economy. How do you think it will help drive Vietnam’s sustained socioeconomic growth?
The Vietnamese government has a strong strategic focus on digital transformation across society, industry/economy, and government. This triple pillar approach is visionary, and it has Ericsson’s fully support and prioritisation.
Since 2017, Ericsson has increased its focus on supporting our mobile operator and service provider customers with mass 4G deployments and 5G commercial trials, particularly in high-growth and industrial areas that will eventually benefit from smart manufacturing efficiencies and sustained productivity gains, enabled by 5G.
The National Strategy for Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0, together with the Socioeconomic Development Plan for this decade, clearly highlights the importance of digital transformation and the digital economy in driving Vietnam’s next wave of inclusive and sustained socioeconomic development.
Vietnam’s digital economy has grown from about $3 billion in 2015 to over $23 billion in 2022, and it is expected to exceed $50 billion by 2025, by which time it will account for up to 20 per cent of Vietnam’s GDP. Already today, Vietnam ranks in the top three countries in Southeast Asia in terms of the value of its digital economy. Vietnam also ranks at around 48 on the Global Innovation Index, significantly improving on-year.
These achievements are due to Vietnam’s increased focus on mobile broadband digital infrastructure, and Ericsson is proud to be contributing our technology leadership to helping achieve these strategic endeavours.
In the context of 5G, Industry 4.0, and new emerging technologies, what is Ericsson’s future focus and recommendations for Vietnam?
Ericsson has established the AI Lab partnership with RMIT University in Vietnam with the clear purpose to create AI use cases that will help drive the accelerated digital transformation of industries and nationwide adoption of Industry 4.0. Since 5G will play a pivotal role as the enabling critical national digital infrastructure for Industry 4.0, Ericsson will continue to support our customers in Vietnam in piloting/trialling 5G capabilities, as we’ve been doing since 2020, preparing the market for mass 5G deployments from 2024 and beyond.
To enable the mass market commercialisation of 5G, the Vietnamese government will auction 5G spectrum licences to help ensure the availability of spectrum for mobile service providers. Data is the oil that fuels the digital economy and spectrum is the oxygen that enables 5G mobile broadband connectivity, which in turn supports the digital transformation of all industries, especially manufacturing, energy, transport, logistics, healthcare, agriculture, and education.
Our global experience shows that first movers historically capture most of the value, attracting investment and generating innovation through startup entrepreneurship that will help create new industries and new jobs from the vast opportunities emanating from limitless digital data connectivity.
The growth of the 5G Innovation ecosystem will significantly accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0, driving improved labour productivity growth rates through increased automation. More jobs will be created through innovation than are displaced through automation, and the Vietnamese government is very well focused on driving STEM education and training with the aim of ensuring the workforce is digitally upskilled and reskilled in preparation for the new jobs that will be created in the future.
The Vietnamese government has a clear strategy and focus on driving industry, academia, and government collaboration, as well as public-private partnerships that will serve to benefit the people of Vietnam.
It’s an inspiring vision which Ericsson fully supports. We are committed to continuing our long-term strategic partnership with Vietnam, growing and expanding our investment in this exciting market as it aims to become a high-income economy and fully industrialised nation by 2045.