Enhancing capabilities for growth
Representing PwC Vietnam, the knowledge partner of the summit, Ms Quynh Van delivered a speech during the session “Vietnam - Connect and Innovate: New business opportunities”.
New research shows that Vietnam’s growth in GDP, FDI inflows, workforce, and middle-income consumer base have consistently outperformed many of its regional peers. All added to Vietnam’s reputation as one of the rising stars of ASEAN and the global economy. She pointed out, however, that the country’s advantage in low labour costs will become less valuable over the coming years, as new technologies and changing global trade dynamics threaten this core value proposition.
“In order to grow sustainably, businesses should invest in three key areas: technology, talent and governance,” Ms Quynh Van emphasized. “Under the impact of Industry 4.0, companies should seriously consider transforming their business to become smarter, more efficient, and more risk-resilient and transparent. For that, they’ll need to equip themselves with the right technologies, the skilled people to operate those technologies, and the appropriate governance structure.”
“Businesses will need to take the lead in this process, but the government will have a role to play in facilitating the change, especially with regard to the capacity of institutions, skill supply and infrastructure for digital connectivity.”
Improving regional ties
On the occasion of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN and the Vietnam Business Summit, PwC introduced its comprehensive study “The Future of ASEAN - Time to Act”, on ASEAN economies, and released a special publication entitled “The Future of ASEAN: Vietnam Perspective”, which provides an in-depth look into Vietnam’s growth fundamentals and competitiveness in comparison with ASEAN peers.
The Vietnam Perspective report focuses on sectors that have great potential for development, including financial services, consumer goods, and infrastructure - transportation. For each featured sector, the report compares Vietnam against other markets in ASEAN and highlights the main growth areas and opportunities that investors can leverage on.
“We believe that developing these sectors will help Vietnam improve its position in the region, as well as its capacity for collaboration,” Ms Quynh Van explained. “Besides the ‘hard infrastructure’ like railways, roads and ports that will be essential to improve cross-border connectivity, the financial services sector will provide the ‘soft infrastructure’ needed to boost commercial and investment activities.”
“Consumer goods, on the other hand, hold potential for increased trade from and to Vietnam, simply because of the sheer size of the consumer bases and the proximity of ASEAN economies.”
Once among the smaller economies in ASEAN, Vietnam has risen into the middle-income bracket and is recognized as one of the most dynamic emerging countries in the region. According to experts from PwC and other international organizations attending the World Economic Forum on ASEAN, the country will continue to offer promising prospects for the business community. The key to success is to thoroughly understand Vietnam’s business landscape, by identifying the opportunities and challenges for growth.
Around 1,300 delegates from Vietnam, ASEAN and top trading partners such as the US, Japan and South Korea took part in the high-level conference, which was organized by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry within the framework of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2018.
Themed “Vietnam - We mean business: Connect and Innovate”, the summit saw Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and World Economic Forum President Borge Brenda deliver keynote addresses and hold dialogues with the business community around Vietnam’s role in the ASEAN and global value chains.
The event offered local and foreign enterprises the chance to meet with business and government leaders in ASEAN and beyond, gain an insight into Vietnam’s economy, and explore new business opportunities in key areas of investment attraction.