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“Vietnam’s digital firms now have favorable conditions to develop markets and expand cooperation relations with other countries. The ministries of Information and Communications (MIC), Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Planning and Investment (MPI) and Industry and Trade (MOIT), together with relevant agencies and organizations, will accompany them during the process of entering international markets,” Deputy Minister of MIC Phan Tam said at the conference on global digital cooperation held days ago.

Elaborating on the MIC’s implementation of the commitment to be tech firms’ fellow-traveler, deputy head of the Authority for ICT Industry Le Nam Trung at the ministry’s May press conference provided information about activities to help tech firms sell their products abroad.

MIC in 2023 organized 60 trips abroad (Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, US, Japan and Spain) for Vietnamese tech firms; connected 50 Vietnam’s businesses with 3,000 foreign businesses in the fields of AI deployment, semiconductor and fintech; organized Business Matching spells for Vietnam’s IT firms and foreign ones; introduced 50 outstanding Make in Vietnam technology products to the world at the ninth Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians in September; and arranged working sessions between Vietnam’s digital firms and counsellors from some countries.

In early 2023, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung set up a consulting team to support digital firms in ICT to go abroad.

Many activities and events will be organized by the ministry in the time to come, such as working with MOFA and MOIT’s relevant units to establish channels and divisions to support enterprises in foreign markets, especially the US, Europe, Japan and South Korea; surveying demand and capability of Vietnam’s firms to join foreign markets; building a database on Vietnam’s businesses making products for foreign markets to build an ecosystem of businesses that support each other when entering foreign markets; joining forces with MOFA, MOIT, VCCI (Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and firms succeeding in foreign markets to study and collect information about IT markets, serving as a basis for Vietnam’s firms to build their business plans; cooperating with relevant agencies to organize trade and investment promotion delegations (attending trade fairs, exhibitions and workshops to introduce and advertise ICT products; and helping popularize Vietnam’s brands and Vietnamese firms’ capability.

Vu Van Chung from Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under MPI reported that as of the end of March 2024, Vietnam had registered 207 outward investment in 33 countries in ICT with capital of $2.82 billion, or 13 percent of total outward investment capital. Most of the projects were in Singapore, Japan, South Korea and the US.

Large-scale telecommunication projects were mostly in African countries and developing economies. 

Viettel is one of the most successful outward investors. It not only makes profits from the investment projects, but also contributes to socio-economic development and digital transformation in countries where it invests.

FIA has recently received a dossier from FPT which asked for permission to increase FPT’s investment capital in four markets, namely the US, Japan, Germany and Singapore. FPT and other large corporations are following procedures to expand their business to international markets.

Regarding MOIT’s support to tech firms to enter the world market, Hoang Minh Chien, deputy director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade), said his ministry organized trade promotion campaigns in 2023 and continues to organize similar activities to support Vietnam’s tech firms to increase their presence in foreign markets.

The activities include organizing international trade fairs in Vietnam for import and export trade exchange activities abroad, connecting suppliers with exporters.

Vietnam’s digital firms, when going abroad, can operate in various fields, from systematic software, software for apps, consultancy, workforce supply and data processing, all of which are used in different sectors, including healthcare, education, agriculture, banking, wholesale and retail.

Analysts said one of the biggest advantages of Vietnam’s digital firms when going abroad is the reasonable cost. The average pay for Vietnamese workforce is $7.5 per hour for BPO (business process outsourcing), $9.09 per hour for IT outsourcing (software development, web administration, system administration), $1.29 per hour for IT Implementation (customer care, payment service, quality assurance) and $7.5 per hour for other services (systematic integration, installation and maintaining of software, training). 

Thai Khang