Domestic digital companies urged to go global to tap into trillion dollar market


A customer registers with Halotel telecoms service, a member company of Viettel in Tanzania. The world technology market is providing significant opportunities for Vietnamese digital companies. — Photo

Vietnamese digital companies should expand their reach to tap into the trillion-dollar global market where the opportunities are abundant for the high-quality IT engineering team of Việt Nam, experts urged at a conference on the matter.

“The world technology market is providing significant opportunities for Vietnamese digital companies,” Nguyễn Thiện Nghĩa, Deputy Director of the Authority of Information Technology and Communication Industry, said at a conference the Ministry of Information and Communications held on Thursday.

The conference “Vietnamese digital companies going global: Global digital cooperation – Trusted partners in building the digital world” was part of the ministry’s campaign to support Vietnamese digital companies to expand their operations abroad this year.

Nghĩa said that the domestic software and IT services market of Việt Nam was estimated at around US$2 billion in 2022, equivalent to the workload for 200,000 engineers. The domestic market was becoming narrow for the resource of 40,000 IT companies and 550,000 engineers in Việt Nam.

Therefore, going global was essential for digital companies, which would also help bring Vietnamese knowledge and technology.

He also cited statistics that Việt Nam’s IT export revenue was $2.2 billion last year by 1,000 IT companies and 80,000 engineers, modest figures compared to the global revenue of software and IT services, worth $1,803 trillion.

“With the current human resources in IT, which keeps expanding, the opportunities for Vietnamese digital companies in the global market are unlimited, and there is huge untapped potential,” Nghĩa said.

He pointed out that the biggest advantage of Vietnamese firms in the global market was high-quality IT engineers with competitive costs.

On the world level, the salary of IT engineers in Việt Nam is only one-tenth, but the quality of the products was highly appreciated. Việt Nam currently ranks sixth in the world regarding human resources for business processing outsourcing (BPO) and information technology outsourcing (ITO), the second most attractive destination in Southeast Asia IT outsourcing.

Minister of Information and Technology Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng said that the explosion in demand for digital transformation was bringing once-in-a-hundred-year opportunities to Vietnamese digital companies to bring Vietnamese knowledge to the world.

“While the Internet and digital technology were playing an increasingly important role, about 40 per cent of the world’s population, or nearly 4 billion people, are not connected to the Internet. This is both an opportunity and responsibility of Vietnamese digital companies to contribute to narrowing the digital gap and building a sustainable digital future,” Hùng said.

“It’s time Vietnamese digital enterprises entered a new phase of development history which is exploring and opening up new spaces, bringing Vietnamese brands to the world, becoming global corporations and enterprises, moving the focus from the domestic market to the international markets and affirming a position in the world technology map,” Hùng stressed.

Go global, go together

Hùng said that the ministry would deploy a comprehensive campaign to support Vietnamese digital enterprises doing business abroad or going abroad.

“Go together to go far. Go together to be more confident and more efficient,” Hùng said.

The ministry and relevant agencies would pave the way for enterprises, accompany and provide support in any markets where enterprises set foot and enterprises which had successfully gone abroad would support others, that’s the way to go, he said.

Sharing the journey of going global during the past two decades, the Chairman of FPT Group Trương Gia Bình said that the beginning was extremely difficult, but the results were strong. FPT was now present in 29 countries with total overseas revenue of $1 billion, 25 times higher, with 27,000 employees, 900 times higher.

To penetrate a foreign market, enterprises must open offices there to understand the market demand to bring products and services matching customers’ demands, Bình said.

“Don’t talk about IT, let’s talk about digital transformation with new technologies such as the Internet of Things and Blockchain. There will be more opportunities.”

He said that technologies integrated into automobiles were a potential sector for domestic IT firms in the international market.

General Director of Viettel Tào Đức Thắng, which also successfully went global, now present in 10 markets with a revenue of $3 billion and average annual growth of 25 per cent, said that Vietnamese IT enterprises were facing many difficulties and challenges when going abroad, including cultural differences, political instability in the countries of investment destinations.

In addition, enterprises often went abroad alone, so they could not create synergy, Thắng said.

Thắng said Vietnamese digital companies should study cultures and respect the laws while doing business abroad. Promoting social responsibility in markets where they invested was also important, such as implementing school Internet projects and supporting governments in fighting against diseases.

Việt Nam should improve the legal framework for overseas investment, including mergers and acquisitions, Thắng said.

At the conference, representatives from the Japan External Trade Organization, the Korea IT Cooperation Centre in Việt Nam and the European Chamber of Commerce in Việt Nam introduced opportunities for IT companies in their markets.

Also, within the conference’s framework, the ministry officially launched a consulting group to support digital companies going abroad.


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