Viet Nam is a young country with a deep infatuation with technology. An obsession that puts computers, phones and tablets a priority item in most household budgets. This passion for hi-tech combined with an education system that not only prioritizes, but excels in mathematics, has created a nation in the sweet spot for IT sector growth.
This trend was best captured by a single developer, Nguyen Ha Dong, and a single smartphone application, Flappy Birds. The 29 year old Hanoian famous for dominating app sales with a game he developed in his bedroom. The notion of more ingenious programmers in Viet Nam is attracting steady investment, and powering growth in the sector.
In 2007, following Viet Nam’s WTO accession, the IT sector took off as a result of Intel’s billion dollar project in the suburbs of Ho Chi Minh City. The location set to become the company’s single largest test assembly facility. Since then, there’s been a surge of investment to manufacture high-end consumer electronics, from smart phones, tablets, to semi-conductors. With downturns in foreign direct investment grows across the region following the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, Viet Nam saw a 17% bump in foreign projects concentrated around IT exports.
In addition to IT products, Viet Nam is seeing strong growth in software outsourcing and application development. The country now has “1,000 software companies with 80,000 people working in the industry (04/18/2014 Tuoi Tre).” FPT Soft, the software division of Viet Nam’s largest homegrown IT Company, reported 2013 earnings of $100m with expectations of $150m in 2014, staggeringly high growth numbers that mimic the sector.
The current trend is to turn small scale pilot projects into the anchor facilities, a process that will be facilitated by the coming Third Wave of trade deals that focus on improving investor confidence. A crucial component of these deals is better defined investor rights and protection over proprietary technology and software.
Not satisfied with WTO accession in late 2007, Viet Nam continues to push toward greater economic integration, both with the European Union Free Trade Agreement and as the only low income country included in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. Viet Nam's policy makers recognize the unique position of the country's economic profile: the only major East Asian country capable of providing cost competitive, labor intensive, high tech goods in the 21st century.
Volume 3 Brochure on IT 221214.pdf