Strategic observation

Interview: Entrepreneurship, Industry 4.0 to become main drivers of many economies: Vietnamese official

2018-09-13 23:07:51 (Beijing Time)


by Tao Jun, Bui Long

HANOI, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Entrepreneurship and Industry 4.0 will be the two main drivers of Vietnam's economy and many others in the near future, a Vietnamese official has said.

Amid a deeper process of international integration, especially the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), it is important for Vietnam and other ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries to provide enterprises with more favorable environments for growth as well as for the enterprises to engage in technological innovation more vigorously to sharpen their competitive edges, said Vu Tien Loc, president of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

Industry 4.0, the fourth major industrial era since the initial industrial revolution of the 18th Century, is marked by emerging technological breakthroughs in such fields as robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, the Internet of Things, fifth-generation wireless technologies, three-dimension printing and autonomous vehicles.

Therefore, it is important for countries to foster business development and scientific and technological market development, Loc told Xinhua, adding that "scientists and enterprises must be symbiotic in the value chain which engages authorities, scientists and businesses."

However, the adoption of technological applications at Vietnamese firms has not been strong or efficient enough, he said, noting that research and development has yet to become robust, direct interconnection between enterprises and research institutions has remained weak, and the scientific and technological market has not grown fully to help businesses find and acquire the technology or knowhow they need.

According to surveys by VCCI, nearly 60 percent of manufacturing and processing firms currently use technologies which are more than six years outdated.

Meanwhile, science and technology organizations in Vietnam transfer too few technologies, less than 1 percent of their total, to businesses, and the ratio of technology transfer from foreign-invested enterprises in Vietnam to local partners is the lowest in ASEAN.

"Vietnam can learn from a lot of technology transfer linkage models inside as well as outside ASEAN," said the VCCI president, noting that many Vietnamese enterprises are using Chinese technologies.

Regarding the transfer of technologies, Vietnam can learn from a model which involves three stakeholders, namely businesses, institutions and intermediaries with businesses being the heart of the model, Loc stated.

He said the VCCI has, in cooperation with the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology, held over 60 seminars and forums to disseminate information and introduce new technologies to enterprises since 2007. Many new technologies have been transferred from Vietnamese research institutes and universities and from multinationals to local businesses.

From a broader context, enterprises should improve their performance, while governments should improve the business environment.

"It takes two to tango: The role of the government in improving the business climate and the effort of the business," Loc said, noting that this year the Vietnamese government requested all concerned ministries and sectors to reduce by at least 50 percent conditions and cross-sectoral administrative inspection procedures to facilitate business development.

Vietnam hosted the World Economic Forum (WEF) on ASEAN on Sept. 11-13.

Vietnam has inked a cooperation agreement with WEF to help the Vietnamese government gain new experience and vision to improve its business climate.

Regarding imports, exports and investment projects, Vietnam and many other countries can further tap "China, an open market, connected to the world with many free trade agreements," the Vietnamese official said.