Vietnam’s digital technology industry will have plenty of opportunities to boost the export of “Make-in-Vietnam” products worldwide, providing that the Ant System Colony model is replicated among local digital technology businesses.
Last year, the digital technology industry represented a key pillar of the Vietnamese economy, bringing in an estimated revenue of US$148 billion, marking an increase of more than 10% compared to 2021. The opening two months of this year also saw the industry earn more than US$20 billion in revenue, of which exports made up more than 90%.
As part of its development strategy the Ministry of Information and Communications has set a target of raising the contribution ratio of digital technology enterprises to GDP to between 6% and 6.5% annually over the next three years.
According to the Ministry, the demand for digital transformation is increasing globally and there remains a wealth of opportunity for the country to export digital technology products, with its export turnover estimated to be at US$137 billion in 2023, US$148 billion in 2024 and US$160 billion in 2025.
“Make-in-Vietnam” robots are being supplied to 30,000 firms across 20 countries and territories worldwide, such as Japan, Germany, and the Middle East, with market demand for robots rising by more than 20% over the years.
“Our biggest market is Japan that lacks human resources, so this is a good market for us to deploy and sell products,” says Bui Dinh Giap, CEO of akaBot – a firm that specialises in hyperautomation products.
Sharing this perspective, Nguyen Thien Nghia, an official of the Ministry of Information and Communications, points out that there are many markets where human resources in the information technology industry are in short supply, thereby representing a huge opportunity for Vietnamese businesses.
“There are about 60% to 70% of those markets. For example, Australia’s information technology market is valued at about US$13 billion, but there are only nearly 100,000 employees serving this market. This is a very potential market for our businesses,” says Nghia.
In addition to choosing markets, experts believe that Vietnamese businesses need to master core technologies in order to increase the added value of products.
“The drop in the actual outsourcing rate from 90% to less than 40% has contributed to the overall growth of the global market by nearly 40% per year. By developing and mastering “Make-in-Vietnam” products, FPT’s export sales in 2023 have this year exceeded US$1 billion. In the US market, for instance, we record the growth of 60%,” says Nguyen Van Khoa, CEO of FPT – a firm that specialises in IT products and technology solutions.
By the end of 2022 the country was home to 75,000 digital technology firms, although only 2% of them were able to export products abroad. The majority of enterprises were small and medium-sized firms, therefore building an affiliate network based on the Ant System Colony model will be key to helping more businesses enter the international market.
Recently, 15 businesses in Hanoi signed a document to join the Japan DX Partners (JDXP) – a group comprised of enterprises operating in the field of software development in Japan - to support each other in exploiting and expanding activities in Japan. JDXP’s overall goal is to export JPY3 billion worth of products this year.
“By joining this group, we use the same resources and save costs. Customers of each company become common customers of the group. The trust of the group is increasing and there are also more orders of course,” said Pham Van Tuan, director of Vietnam High-Tech Engineering Company, a member of JDXP.
Following the move, Masataka Yoshida, CEO of HONKI – an enterprise specialising in technology solutions in the fields of education and health care, flew to Vietnam to propose linkages with Vietnamese partners.
“Currently, the demand for digital technology in Japan is very high, but there is a lack of human resources. Through the Vietnam visit, I have got a good answer,” said Yoshida.
At present a total of 1,400 Vietnamese firms are generating revenue from exporting digital technology products covering all fields. This figure will increase considerably if the Ant System Colony model is replicated among businesses, a move which will help local firms not only accelerate digital transformation, but also create a sustainable digital technology community.