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NEWS UPDATES 6 February 2010

Vietnam: Industry still plagued by lack of infrastructure, skills

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Information and communication technology zones could become a major attraction for foreign investors if the problems plaguing them are fixed, reported.

They are unable to attract investors yet because of poor human resources and infrastructure.

An official from the Ministry of Information and Communications' National Institute of Information and Communications Strategy said: "For instance, Foxconn and Compal chose to invest in industrial parks.

"The government's approval of the National Information and Communication Technology Development Project will be an attraction for foreign investors."

The project envisages setting up 23 ICTCs with a total area of 2,000ha by 2020. It will be built and managed by private investors, including foreign, with the Government funding only the transport, electricity and water supply infrastructure.

Some ICTCs are already being built by enterprises – one in Vinh City by VTC Intecom and two others in Da Nang and Hoa Lac by FPT.

Amit Midha, president of computer maker Dell (China) Company Limited, said the US firm was considering Viet Nam as not only a consumer market but also a promising manufacturing base.

"We have got in touch with a company which puts forward the idea of setting up a firm to provide Dell services in Viet Nam," he said. "We are considering the proposal."

After a surge in foreign investment in the ICT sector in 2007, things have calmed down. It was in that year that top technology firms like Intel, Foxconn and Compal made billion-dollar investments.

Last year, according to the Foreign Investment Agency, investments plummeted to $68 million. But since 2000, except last year's aberration, the ICT sector has always achieved annual growth of 20–25 per cent, according to Nguyen Trong Duong, deputy head of the ministry's Information and Technology Department.

"[But] despite the sharp increase in investment, the sector's development has yet to match the potential," he said.


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