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Ho Chi Minh City Seeks to Boost Software Exports

Ho Chi Minh City Software Exports
Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

Vietnam aims to become a leading innovation centre in Southeast Asia. Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City, one of the country’s top tech hubs, is looking to change its export structure; focusing on services and technology.

Opportunities

The Deputy CEO of KPMG Vietnam, which provides financial consultancy services, Nguyen Cong Ai, said that Vietnamese enterprises are increasing investments in technology, including digital transformation and cybersecurity.

According to an official press release, the market is witnessing a race for human resources in the IT industry. The number of qualified IT workers is limited, with many of them working for foreign companies.

The Deputy CEO of TMA Software, Deputy Chair of VNITO Alliance, commented that innovation is mentioned as a trend but there are very few successful businesses in the field.

To develop well, businesses need to choose the right path. For example, they could invite experts on innovation to Vietnam to share views about how to move from ideas to production processes.

By targeting the right markets and offering the right products, the company has provided software apps to collect information about epidemics to 60 countries. It has created software that supports the solution of releasing mosquitoes to stop the spread of dengue fever in 12 countries.

Earlier this month, the participants at the 2019 conference on developing IT services themed ‘Vietnam, a destination for innovation’ heard about a Vietnamese firm that uses AI to rate the severity of calls and filter spam calls to the US market. Algorithms for programming timesaving and cleaning and washing have also been transferred by Vietnamese technology firms to US and European markets.

The Deputy Head of the HCM City Institute for Development Studies, Pham Phu Quoc, said that electronics, textiles and garments, and footwear remain the major exports of the city, making up 60% of total exports.

However, it is difficult to immediately increase the proportion of software exports.

Software solutions to serve domestic needs can be built, but in exports, Vietnamese technology firms mostly outsource, work that brings low added value.

The Deputy Head said that policies are needed to encourage Vietnamese firms to boost the export of technological solutions, including increasing the IT workforce, encouraging firms to export software, and helping businesses minimise difficulties in the first phases of operation.

HCM City has been working towards a complete digital transformation of all its sectors. In September, the Ministry of Information and Communications announced that all of HCM City’s 24 districts would have Internet of Things (IoT) broadcasting stations installed.

Around 1,000 Narrow Band-IoT (NB-IoT) broadcasting stations have been activated, covering the whole city. NB-IoT technology is capable of disconnecting a device when it is inactive. Thus, the contact time of the terminal is extended to five years without the need for changing its battery.

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