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Feb 23, 2023 / 21:07

Advisory board introduced to assist Vietnamese companies go global

In 2022, Vietnamese ICT companies exported $2.2 billion worth of products.

A governmental advisory group consisting of tech giants FPT, Viettel and NTQ Solution debuted on February 23 to help Vietnamese tech companies go international.

An FPT office in Japan. Photo: FPT Corporation

Besides the three tech corporations, the advisory group includes 16 officials, led by Trieu Minh Long, Director of International Cooperation under the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Other group members are officials of the agencies under the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnam Digital Communications Association, the Vietnam Software and IT Services Association, and the Vietnam Electronic Industries Association.

The Ministry of Information and Communications tasks the advisory group to facilitate and seek private investments into the ICT sector and implement activities to promote Vietnamese businesses worldwide.

The group will also be responsible for analyzing the challenges and obstacles faced by Vietnamese businesses and developing viable solutions to overcome them.

According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, the advisory group will greatly help Vietnamese ICT companies go global and expand their presence in overseas markets.

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said that in 2023 the ministry would work with Vietnamese ICT communities, foreign organizations and agencies, investors, and trade promotion agencies to help local businesses increase their influence in the international market.

"Going together" is the way forward for Vietnamese ICT companies if they want to go far in international markets, said Nguyen Thien Nghia, Deputy Director of the Authority of Information Technology and Communication Industry under the Ministry of Information and Communications.

"Major businesses will guide smaller ones. The lessons and experiences of the pathfinders are valuable for the rest of the community to enter the global markets with confidence," he told a conference on February 23 about the development of ICT companies in overseas markets.

"Vietnamese ICT companies are able to provide both high-quality products and services and low-cost workforce, which would be huge advantages when they compete on the global scale," Nghia added.

He noted that the global containment of the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a huge demand for ICT products and services, especially in rural areas and underdeveloped nations with poor infrastructure.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) statistics show that nearly half of the world's population remains disconnected from the Internet.

In 2022, Vietnamese ICT companies exported $2.2 billion of products, a drop in the bucket as global ICT output amounted to $1.8 trillion.

Local ICT companies need to approach new markets, introduce their solutions to process the digital transformation in other countries, and contribute to developing the digital world, Nghia said.

Truong Gia Binh, Chairman of FPT Corporation, said Vietnamese companies should learn the local language well before entering any overseas market.

Binh said the company set up a local office to capture the attention and demand of local customers and offer practical solutions such as IoT and blockchain.

Such insightful actions have helped FPT earn revenues of about $200 million in foreign markets since the company first went abroad in the early 2000s, the chairman said.

After 22 years, FPT is present in 29 countries and territories. The overseas market revenue has increased 25,000 times to US$1 billion, and the payroll has expanded by 900 to 27,000 employees.

Military-run telecom group Viettel went global in 2006. Since then, the company has conquered 10 foreign markets, earning nearly US$3 billion, and tops the market shares in five countries with total 62 million cellphone accounts and 10 million e-wallet accounts.

Major challenges for Vietnamese companies include cultural and legal issues, political instability, lack of investment protection policies between the two governments, and lack of collective strength from other Vietnamese businesses, Viettel general director Tao Duc Thang said.

He recommended that Vietnamese firms deeply understand local cultural values and regulations to minimize the risks, help local authorities develop regulations, and deploy social projects to improve living standards for the locals.

At the conference, international participants also spoke highly of Vietnamese companies' capabilities, believing that many local firms are strong enough to go global.