PM requests favourable mechanisms, policies for innovation hinh anh 1
PM Pham Minh Chinh (front, third from left) and officials visit the Vietnam National Innovation Centre on March 4. (Photo: VNA)
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh visited the Vietnam National Innovation Centre (NIC) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and the Military Industry and Telecoms Group (Viettel) in Hanoi on March 4.

Visiting the NIC, PM Chinh said the building of this centre is a highly necessary and timely move to achieve the targets set by the 13th National Party Congress, including turning Vietnam into a developing country with modernity-oriented industry that surpasses the lower-middle income level by 2025, a developing country with modern industry and upper-middle income by 2030, and a developed country with high income by 2045; and boosting development based on science, technology, and innovation.

He wanted the NIC to become a rendezvous of intellectuals from around the world to create resources for spreading benefits and values of innovation to the entire society. To do that, mechanisms, policies, resources, efforts, and dedication are required.

The Government leader told the MPI to coordinate with other ministries, sectors, and agencies to create a favourable legal framework for the centre to operate effectively; create mechanisms and policies for attracting intellectuals, and develop an innovation ecosystem.

In particular, the relevant parties should establish a fund for encouraging innovation, perfect an innovation centre model suitable for Vietnam, invest in infrastructure and equipment to guarantee research and innovation activities, digitalise the NIC’s operations, and connect the NIC with the national database system to build big databases and artificial intelligence, according to the PM.

Approved by the PM in 2019, the NIC is invested with 4.04 trillion VND (nearly 10.3 million USD) and now undergoing final touches. The 35ha centre is set up with the aim of supporting and developing startup and innovation ecosystems in Vietnam. Once operational, it is expected to be a location of domestic and international innovation enterprises, laboratories, offices of major businesses, as well as leading experts and scientists.

PM Pham Minh Chinh and officials visit the Military Industry and Telecoms Group (Viettel) on March 4. (Photo: VNA)
Also on March 4, PM Chinh visited Viettel to examine its high technology research and production activities in the fields of military, telecoms infrastructure, and civilian products.

He said the firm has continually invested in research and development activities, helping form a telecoms industry and ensuring safety for the development of a digital Government, a digital economy, and a digital society.

He told Viettel to play the core role in the building of a high-tech defence industry complex and the development of the production of civilian device to help turn Vietnam into an industrialised country, efficiently serving national digital transformation, maintaining its role in leading the digital transformation process, building national databases, and enhancing telecoms and cyber security.

FDI expected to bounce back with improved investment climate

Vietnam’s continued efforts to improve its business and investment climate is expected to help the country to lure in further foreign direct investment (FDI), which is considered one of the key impetuses for economic growth.

On February 24, the Vinh Phuc Industrial Parks Management Board granted an investment registration certificate to IL San Precision Vina Company from the Republic of Korea to develop a 500,000 USD IL San Vina factory producing electronics products in the northern province’s Binh Xuyen Industrial Park (IP).

Earlier, on February 21, the Vinh Phuc Industrial Parks Management Board also granted a certificate to Italy’s Piaggio Vietnam to increase its investment capital by an additional sum of 75 million USD, raising its total investment capital in the province to 165 million USD.

According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), Vinh Phuc is among top destinations of foreign investment in Vietnam.

Specifically, in January when the Tet holiday took place and domestic production activities were almost halted, Vietnam reported 153 newly registered projects, worth 1.2 billion USD, representing a 48.5% increase in the number of projects and a 3.1-fold rise in value. This is a sign of the confidence of foreign investors in the investment environment of Vietnam, the FIA said.

Also in January, new capital added to operational projects witnessed a year-on-year drop of 76% to 306.3 million USD, while capital contributions and stake purchases fell 61% year on year to more than 174 million USD, resulting in a 19.8% year on year decrease in the total FDI capital to 1.69 billion USD.

In the period from January to February 20, total newly registered and newly added FDI and capital contributions and stake acquisitions in Vietnam hit 3.1 billion USD, down 38% year on year.

However, the newly registered capital surged 2.8 times year on year to 1.76 billion USD, and capital contributions and stake acquisitions touched 797.9 million USD – up 3.7% year on year. Meanwhile, newly added capital dropped 85.1% year on year  to 535.4 million USD.

The MPI reported that as of February 20, accumulated FDI capital in Vietnam hit nearly 442.3 billion USD in over 36,600 valid projects.

According to the ministry, Vietnam expects to lure in as much as 36-38 billion USD worth of FDI this year, up strongly from the figure of nearly 27.72 billion USD recorded last year. FDI will continue acting as one of the key drivers of economic growth.

The MPI is also expecting that FDI disbursement in this year will likely reach as much as 22-23 billion USD, almost the same as 22.4 billion USD last year.

According to MPI, the key factors for FDI to continue increasing this year are the  economic growth in 2022 and big efforts of the government, ministries, and localities in ameliorating the domestic business and investment environment, in addition to significant advantages brought by free trade agreements that Vietnam has signed.

One of the positive factors in Vietnam’s FDI landscape this year is that many projects registered last year will come into operation this year, helping create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Andrew Jeffries, ADB country director for Vietnam, said that there are also many reasons for optimism about Vietnam’s economic prospects in 2023.

“In Vietnam, economic activities recovered faster than expected following the removal of COVID-19 restrictions and the achievement of nationwide vaccine coverage,” Jeffries said. “Despite a volatile stock market last year, FDI has been strong and has even picked up. There is no doubt that Vietnam’s economic prospects for the medium and long term remain very positive.”

“FDI investors think long-term when they make their investments, and we noted that continued strong interest in Vietnam as an FDI destination. That clearly shows a long-term vote of confidence in the country. With sound economic fundamentals and strong leadership, we strongly believe that Vietnam will be able to brace the headwinds in 2023 and beyond,” Jeffries stressed.

MPI Minister Nguyen Chi Dung said that Vietnam has adopted a selective approach to attracting foreign investment inflow which will contribute to the country's implementation of the sustainable development strategy.

Priority will be given to projects using new and green technologies, with high added value, modern corporate governance, and high spill-over effects, ensuring technology transfer, and being integrated with global supply and production chains, Dung said.

A recent survey conducted by the MPI revealed that 76% of enterprises, both domestic and foreign enterprises reported that they are satisfied with the Vietnamese government’s support policies.

They were most satisfied with the VAT waiver and reduction policies, and those aiming to stabilise gasoline prices, improve the work permit issuance process and customs clearance procedures, and support import-export and workers’ livelihoods.

Positive outlook for fresh banana exports to Japan

With Vietnamese banana exports to Japan making up less than 1% of the Far East nation’s banana imports, there remains ample room for the export of bananas as well as other fruits to this market in the future, according to industry insiders.

Ta Duc Minh, Vietnamese Trade Counselor in Japan, revealed that some supermarket chains in Japan have unveiled plans to increase the import of Vietnamese bananas.

Most notably, Japanese enterprises are planning to focus more on importing Fohla banana varieties that have been granted organic certification.

Leading Japanese retailer AEON is in need of importing an unlimited quantity of bananas, provided that Vietnamese partners are able to meet stringent requirements in terms of quality.

At present, Vietnamese bananas are favoured by Japanese consumers thanks to their better quality compared to those imported from the Philippines. This is also the primary reason why several Japanese enterprises will move to increase their imports of Vietnamese bananas in the future.

According to the Vietnamese Trade Office in Japan, the country’s banana exports to the Japanese market reached over US$7 million last year, accounting for less than 1% of the Far East nation’s banana imports, thereby creating opportunities to increase market share within the demanding market.

The Vietnamese trade official therefore advised local banana exporters to ensure the implementation of synchronous linkages from growing, processing, preserving, transporting, and exporting as a way of further accelerating the export of fresh fruit and vegetables, including bananas, to Japan in a sustainable manner.

Furthermore, local businesses are required to ensure stable price and supply sources alongside meeting requirements relating to food safety standards and origin traceability, he noted. 

Hanoi to have 5-9 OCOP design and promotion centres

The Hanoi People's Committee has issued a plan on developing from 5-9 centres for One Commune One Product (OCOP) design, introduction, promotion and sale in association with tourism across the city in 2023.

Under the plan, by the end of 2023, the centres will be set up in  Bat Trang (Gia Lam district), Duyen Thai (Thuong Tin district), Chuyen My (Phu Xuyen district), Phu Nghia (Chuong My district), Duyen Ha (Thanh Tri district), Di Trach (Hoai Duc district), Van Ha (Dong Anh district), Hoa Lam (Ung Hoa district), and Van Phuc silk village (Ha Dong district).

The objective of these centre is to create an environment that supports rural craft villages in the development of creative design and the promotion of OCOP products in association with experiential tourism, contributing to the economic restructuring of rural areas of the city.

The centre will create connections between artisans, young design teams, research institutes, and international organisations to promote local cultural advantages and economic development in traditional craft villages across the capital city.

Funding for the centres will come from the State budget, private enterprises, domestic or foreign organisations, and individuals.

Hanoi has recognised more than 2,140 OCOP products with more than 800 active trade villages, helping to boost economic development in rural areas while generating jobs for local labourers.

Apparel sector races to boost exports
Vietnamese apparel firms have been busy so far this year completing orders, toward achieving the goal of about US$47 billion in exports this year on the back of incentives brought about by free trade agreements.

Businesses also plan to invest in modern technology to improve business efficiency and workers' incomes.

Global apparel demand is forecast to decrease by nearly 5 per cent annually this year to around $700 billion, resulting in a decrease of 25-27 per cent in the number of orders.

Major importers of Vietnamese apparel such as the US, China and the Republic of Korea have shown signs of lower demand since October 2022. Meanwhile, the European Union and Japan still maintained positive growth but it was lower than in previous months.

Chairman of the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) Vu Duc Giang said in order to achieve sustainable development, the sector will continue calling for investment in the material supply chain; building sale solutions; and developing automation, digital governance, a transparent business environment and high-quality workforce.

He admitted that the sector is facing intense competition from Bangladesh, India and Indonesia, especially products with simple designs.

In the near future, about 30-35 per cent of apparel makers will suffer from a shortage of orders while the remainder will face price pressure. However, the sector is still able to produce mid and high-end products which is one of its advantages to accelerate exports, he said.

Domestic textile firms also suggested the State adjust policies and mechanisms flexibly, especially those related to credit and foreign exchange rates to improve their competitiveness.

VN needs radical solutions to protect value of agricultural products, “rescues” don’t help
Viet Nam needs to raise radical solutions to build an agricultural production industry based on the market demand together with promoting markets and protecting value for farm produces, critical to prevent arbitrary abuse of “rescues” which don’t really help but even cause damage to the agriculture, experts said.

In recent days, were several places on the streets of Ha Noi selling chicken eggs at trucks with the banner “Rescue eggs” at low price of only VND65,000 (US$2.8) for 30 eggs.

Yen Thanh, a consumer, said that she was hesitant about the origin and quality of the eggs sold on ar trucks on the street. However, she said that if the eggs were of farmers who were struggling to find a market and of good quality, she was willing to buy as a support to them.

Sellers said that the eggs came from Lien Chau Commune, Thanh Oai District, Ha Noi while some from Thai Nguyen, Ha Nam and Thanh Hoa Province.

However, Bui Van Sang, Chairman of Thanh Oai District People’s Committee, said to Tin Tuc newspaper that the information about rescuing eggs for farmers in Lien Chau Commune was not true, adding that the local authority had not received any calls for supports in selling eggs from farmers.

Nguyen Thanh Son, President of the Viet Nam Poultry Association, said that sale of eggs at low prices with banners calling for rescue was “just a trick” of small traders which was decreasing the value of Vietnamese agricultural products.

The egg prices in the market were around VND200-300 lower than before Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays and consumption slightly decreased but this was a normal thing which occurred every year seasonally and had not caused any significant problems to farmers and enterprises, Son said. He said that egg prices would come back to the normal level of around VND3,000 in the coming month.

In the face of an increase in the number of egg rescue points, Son said that management authorities should inspect the origin of eggs and check whether the quality of eggs met the standards or not.

He also urged consumers not to buy eggs on the sidewalk because of unknown origin and preservation time. At normal temperature, eggs are of the best quality in 7-10 days, but the quality gradually decreased after that.

Calling for rescues of farm produces and the story of good harvest, but low prices was not a new thing but happened regularly. In recent years, there were calls for rescues for jackfruit, watermelon, dragon fruit, pineapple and many other agricultural products.

Experts warned that traders might take advantage of consumers’ compassion to arbitrarily organise rescues and earn profits, which pushed down prices of agricultural products, causing damages to farmers.

“The organisation of rescues for farm produces should be stopped,” Son said, adding that the arbitrary calls for rescuing were lowering the value of agricultural products.

He urged the management agencies to strengthen inspection and stop arbitrary rescues as well as unhealthy competitions which were pushing down value of farm produces. The word of “rescue” should no longer be used to mention about consumption of agricultural products, he said.

“It’s time for us to change the approach to promote the agriculture in a more sustainable way, shifting from simple agricultural production to developing an agricultural economy. The production must be based on market analysis and forecast. This is the core solution for the long term,” he said.

Nguyen Manh Hung, Chairman of Nafoods Joint Stock Company, said that measures should be raised to prevent unhealthy competitions which were pushing down value of agricultural products.

Hung said enterprises should join hands to protect value of products, like Thailand and Japan.

Citing the proverb that “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together,’ Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan said that the linkage between the Government, farmers and enterprises must be enhanced to promote the development of the agriculture sustainably.

Viet Nam needed to have appropriate strategies to promote agricultural production and develop markets for agricultural products together with legal framework to coordinating between production and consumption to prevent oversupply.

Farmers needed to fundamentally change their thinking in production, pay attention to market information, plantation planning and apply modern techniques and technologies in production to improve the product quality.

Enterprises should play their roles in connecting producers and consumers, directing production and providing support to farmers in producing products that the market required.

Associations and cooperations should play roles in promoting farmers and enterprises to establish value chains and develop markets for agricultural products.

“It is critical that the production is based on the market demand and the market requirements,” Son stressed.

Developing the processing industry was also important to prevent the prices of agricultural products from falling when there was a good harvest. 

Recalculating base prices and retailers' bonus key to stabilise fuel market: MPI
Recalculating base fuel retail prices and granting retailers a minimum bonus were among a number of suggestions made by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) as measures to put a stop to fuel retail disruption, as seen last year and earlier this year, across the country.

"The underlying cause behind disruptions in the domestic fuel market in recent months could be attributed to an inadequate calculation of the base fuel retail prices, which have resulted in retailers voicing concerns over prolonged financial losses and hurt their incentives to push sales," said the ministry in a public statement.

The ministry advocated for the current fuel management system but stressed the importance of implementing a revised calculation of retail prices, which should cover most, if not all, costs incurred by retailers' operations.

Meanwhile, reviews must be conducted on fees shouldered by retailers and how often they must pay them. The goal, according to the ministry, is to reach a balance among all of the sector's stakeholders.

In addition, the ministry supported establishing a minimum bonus regime for retailers, to serve as an incentive for sales, which aims at letting the market sort out supply and demand issues and to lessen the central government's role in it.

Retailers bear most of the responsibility in the distribution and quality of fuel and should be held accountable in the events of accidents and malfeasance, said the ministry. Having multiple suppliers, given the nature of the merchandise, will likely make it difficult for governmental agencies to enforce quality control measures.

"However, having only one supplier may also lead to difficulties in ensuring supply on retailers' part, especially during supply shortage as seen in previous months," said the ministry.

MPI, therefore, suggested that the Ministry of Industry and Trade develop measures to allow retailers to purchase from multiple suppliers while implementing stronger product origin regulations.

Regarding the country's fuel stabilisation fund, the MPI supported the continuation of the fund but stressed the central government should only intervene in the event fuel price fluctuate enormously within a 7-10 per cent margin.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the Southeast Asian country imported more than 1 million cubic metres of fuel in January alone, a 9 per cent increase compared to December 2022.

Imported fuel's average price was estimated at US$889 per cubic metre in January, a $17 hike from December 2022 and a 21 per cent increase from the same period last year.

The country imported nearly 9 million cubic metres throughout 2022, paying $9 billion, a 28 per cent increase in quantity and a 220 per cent increase in value compared to the year 2021. The average fuel price for 2022 was estimated at $1,007 per cubic metre, a 67 per cent increase from the same figure of the previous year. 

Economic institution reform crucial for completion of upper-middle-income goal

As Vietnam is about to join the group of upper-middle-income countries and pursuing the goal of becoming a developed and high-income country by 2045, the continuous renovation of economic institutions becomes more urgent than ever, said experts at a political dialogue workshop in Hanoi on March 1.

Prof. Dr. Pham Hong Chuong, President of the National Economics University said that after more than 30 years of renewal, Vietnam has become an economy with extensive integration into the world.

The country has continuously built and adjusted its legal system to match the free trade agreements that it has signed, he noted, adding that a series of laws have been amended towards facilitating people's and enterprises' investment and business activities.

The efforts have brought the country's per capita income from about US$200 in 2019 to US$3,590 in 2021 as reported by the World Bank, he noted, stressing that if the country can avoid the low-income "trap," it may become an upper-middle-income country before 2030.

Chuong pointed to a number of shortcomings in the operation of the Vietnamese market economy currently, including problems in intellectual property protection and the overlapping of legal documents.

He underlined that economic institution reform is the key to economic development achievements.

Since 2011, the Government has consistently reformed the market economy institution with priority to macro-economic stability, improvement of investment and business environment, and strengthening of international integration, which has resulted in a healthy economy, he noted.

Foreign currency reserves remain high, while the ratio of public debt to GDP is low, and foreign investment and import-export turnover have been continuously rising through the years, he added.

Dr. Fred McMahon from Fraser Institute of Canada said that Vietnam has posted a high annual growth of 6% in the last 10 years. In order to maintain a high growth even after becoming richer, the country's economy should become more competitive, he said.

Dinh Tuan Minh, Director of the Market-based Solutions Center for Social and Economic Issues (MASSEI) held that Vietnam is becoming closer to the group of upper-middle-income countries in terms of component indexes such as government scale, legal system and ownership, and credit, labour and business management. However, the country has a long way to go in other indexes such as good currency and international trade.

Tuan gave a number of suggestions in economic institution reform based on the global economic facilitation criteria.

He said that it is necessary to review non-tariff barriers towards clearance, transparency and stability, while staying persistent in administrative reform in customs, and continuing to review regulations on capital control in compulsory procedures.

Durian export surge pays off for Mekong Delta growers

Durian growers in the Mekong Delta region are earning big thanks to a surge in fruit exports to China.

The prices of many kinds of durian have been rising. For instance, durian Ri6 and Dona have been up to VND130,000-210,000 per kilo from a previous VND70,000-80,000.

Huynh Tan Loc, director of Ngu Hiep Commune’s Durian Co-operative in Cai Lay District, said that this is the highest price he had seen for a decade.
Durian prices in 2021 dropped as low as VND35,000 per kilo according to Loc, because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The durian price hike has been fuelled by the signing of a protocol between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam and the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) since July last year. Demand has also been bolstered by Thailand’s durian harvest yet to take place, so China has imported more durian from Vietnam.

Loc said there were not large stockpiles of the fruit so his co-operative had to buy the fruit from different localities in the Mekong Delta region. There will be two durian harvests in the area in the next month.

Ngu Hiep Durian Co-operative has 102 members owning 191 hectares of durian.

Nguyen Van Trieu from Ngu Hiep Commune said that his family grows 6,000 square metres of durian and earns a profit of VND1.2 billion in this off-season durian crop.

"It is more difficult to take care of durians; however, the loss rate is lower than other crops,” Trieu said.

According to Trieu, each durian tree in his family has a productivity of 200 kilos. In this off-season crop, his garden’s total productivity has reached around 10 tonnes.

Tien Giang’s total durian area has reached 17,600 hectares, mainly in the districts of Cai Be, Cai Lay and Cai Lay Town.

Amid the rising durian prices, many farmers in the Mekong Delta have reduced other crops to turn to durian.

Dang Phuc Nguyen, General Secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association, said only durian that met Chinese phytosanitary protocol requirements would be allowed to be exported to China.

To avoid oversupply, such as seen with pepper, people were advised not to just swap over to growing durian.

Central provinces accelerate construction projects in coastal areas

Central provinces are striving to accelerate construction projects in coastal areas.

In 2023, in order to resolve the slow disbursement which has affected the construction progress, leaders of the central provinces and cities asked the departments and agencies to speed up the progress, focusing on solving difficulties and obstacles in terms of procedures for planning, land, site clearance and resettlement of works in the area.

Secretary of the Da Nang City Party Committee Nguyen Van Quang said that timely completion will contribute to the disbursement of public investment capital, helping Da Nang City to grow and develop socio-economically as these projects have been and will create a great motivation and attraction for the city.

At the investment and construction project of the Central City of Da Nang’s Lien Chieu Port, after completing the documents on handing over the sea area, and renting space for operation and construction, these days, trucks have been loading with boulders into the construction area.

According to the plan, in 2023, the project will complete at least 25 percent of the construction and installation value of the contract, corresponding to the value of the completed construction and installation volume of VND 658 billion.

According to Senior Lieutenant Colonel Tong Thanh Phuc, Deputy General Director of Lung Lo Construction Corporation, following the requirements of the project's quality and progress, all workers worked hard on these days with favorable weather to finish the project as per schedule. This area is close to the sea with very strong winds, so when there is heavy rain, workers and construction machines have to stop to ensure safety. But the company is facing the problem of stone supply because the mines in the Central region have low stone reserves.

Currently, the company worked with mines and local leaders to supplement reserves and ensure supply for the project.

On the construction site of the coastal road and the bridge over Thuan An estuary in Thai Duong Ha Nam village of Hue City, the waves hit directly and the rain and cold continued for a long time, but the construction companies still tried their best to speed up the process.

Currently, the companies have carried out a specialized experiment on construction quality, in which the contractor basically completed the construction of bored piles and cylinder bodies, super T beams, organized the construction of bored piles, and poured concrete of the cylinder body.

Vice Chairman of the People's Committee of Thua Thien - Hue Province Hoang Hai Minh said that the project has a total investment of VND2,400 billion in the first phase, starting at the end of March 2022. It is expected the project will be implemented in three years with a length of 7,785m.

Due to the importance of the project, from the very beginning, provincial leaders asked investors and contractors to concentrate resources and means so that the building work was already on schedule.

Additionally, investors and contractors should closely coordinate with local authorities to ensure the progress and quality of the project. Local administrations were urged to pay regular visits to the construction site to help investors and contractors remove problems during the site clearance work, Mr. Minh said.

In Quang Tri, Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee Vo Van Hung has just issued a conclusion requesting responsible departments, agencies, local authorities and the investor - My Thuy International Port Joint Venture Joint Stock Company, to complete the procedures to implement the construction project of My Thuy port area in Hai An Commune in the Southeast Quang Tri economic zone.

The project has a total capital of VND 14,200 billion with 10 berths with an area of 685 hectares which is designed to receive ships of up to 100,000 tons. According to the plan, from 2018 to 2025, the province will spend nearly VND5,000 billion building four berths while from 2026–2031, nearly VND5,000 billion will be used for building three berths and from 2032-2036, the last three berths will be built with a capital of over VND4,300 billion.

Construction of largest irrigation reservoir in Dak Nong Province approved

The Management Board of Invested Construction Projects in Dak Nong Province yesterday announced that the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry has agreed with an investment project to build Dak Gang Irrigation Reservoir.

Accordingly, the project has a total investment of over VND1 trillion (US$42 million), taking from the central State budget as well as the counterpart capital of Dak Nong Province (VND100 billion - $4.2 million).

Dak Gang Irrigation Reservoir is sited in both Dak Mil District and Cu Jut District, with a total surface area of more than 234ha. When finished, it is supposed to supply irrigation water for 1,860ha of crops and domestic water for thousands of households in the two above districts.

According to the Management Board of Invested Construction Projects in Dak Nong Province, this project is the largest irrigation one of the province. It should start in 2023 and is expected to complete in 2027.

Retailers enter the AI game to improve customer services

After fintech and technology, the retail sector is seemingly joining the race to utilise AI race after a number of businesses announced plans to develop and integrate this technology into their operating models.

Vietnam’s retail market this month heard that domestic retail giants FPT Retail and Masan would spend plenty of resources on research and application of AI technology as soon as possible.

At FPT Retail, AI will be applied to develop the Long Chau chain, the brand’s successful pharmaceutical retail sector, along with FPT Shop, the electronics store chain.

FPT Long Chau has collaborated with VinUni and the Hanoi University of Science and Technology to research and develop VAIPE technology with funding from the Vingroup Innovation Fund. The application is based on advanced technologies in the field of AI and data science, and VAIPE is expected to assist doctors in scheduling and administering medication, monitoring the patient’s health indicators to give appropriate advice.

Hoang Trung Kien, general director of FPT Retail, said, “FPT wants to put modern AI technology into practical application. The introduction of VAIPE will help us improve the customer service experience.”

Pham Huy Hieu, deputy director of VinUni-Illinois Smart Health Centre, co-developer of VAIPE, added, “This cooperation will provide more solutions to help shape the trend of digital transformation of the pharmaceutical industry in Vietnam.”

Meanwhile, Masan has decided to invest $105 million in AI company Trust IQ, owned by Trusting Social in Singapore.

Trusting Social is an AI-integrated fintech that provides in-depth credit data of over one billion users to over 170 financial institutions in Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines. The company has the financial backing of investment funds such as Sequoia Capital, Tanglin Ventures, 500 Startups, Kima Ventures, and Genesis Alternative Ventures.

“The speed and magnitude of our innovation is what gives us confidence about our medium- and long-term growth prospects,” said Masan Group chairman Nguyen Dang Quang.

Retail is one of the sectors with the fastest recovery speed after the pandemic, and also the most attractive business market in Vietnam with the active participation of domestic and foreign businesses.

According to data from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam’s retail industry currently has a market size of $142 billion and is forecast to grow to $350 billion by 2025. Digital transformation and integration of new technologies are the way many businesses retail industry to step up to gain competitive advantage.

Vu Thi Hau, chairman of the Vietnam Retailers Association, said, “Digital transformation will be the trend of the retail industry in the coming time. Businesses can use AI and sensor fusion technology to automate the checkout process, giving customers a better shopping experience.”

In addition to retail, many other fields in Vietnam are eyeing up an AI future. VinUni from Vingroup also recently said that it is considering applying AI chat software in classrooms or for research. Representatives of cybersecurity company BKAV and Max Land real estate company are also considering the possibility of using AI.

Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes