Chief Digital Technology Officer & SVP
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Everyone Is Investing in Vietnam: Insiders & Outsiders
It's exciting to be surrounded in good, positive global changes, which is where I find myself today here in Vietnam. A half a day away from home and still suffering from a week of jetlag, I am starting to get a sense of this village metropolis of Hanoi, where I am again working and visiting. Like all cities I love, Hanoi is both an overwhelming spectacle of a town (I am a New Yorker after all) and it is a village, with distinct neighborhoods and communities that are crawling with people of all ages. The city itself, which is rich in local culture and marked by growing foreign investment, is a reflection of how both internal and external forces are driving Vietnam's rapid marketplace evolution.
Vietnam leaders, businesses and schools are all working to secure Vietnam a strong position in the global economy. At the same time, outside investors and Western businesses, like Microsoft and Intel, are helping to speed and assist in the change. The May 29th edition of the Wall Street Journal profiled Harvey Nash's growing Vietnam-based offshore business in an article that focused on the country's growing role in the offshore industry. Titled "Vietnam Wins Attention As New Outsourcing Hub" the article by James Hookway explains the various advantages of building technology operations in Vietnam, such as a young and highly skilled workforce, growing English language skills, the low cost of labor and the low cost of land.
The country's most powerful institutions, from the government to universities to private business, are committed to helping Vietnam increase its attractiveness to global businesses. As Hookway's article points out, the government has announced its commitment to reduce corruption and is offering incentives to companies willing to invest. Businesses in turn are investing. In the May 31st article "Is Vietnam the Next Hotbed for Offshoring?" Supply Chain Digest reported that "direct foreign investment in Vietnam more than doubled in 2006 versus 2005 to over $4 billion."
To me it is this combined internal and external push that will propel Vietnam past the challenges it does face, in order to become one of the world's most skilled and sought-after technology hubs and offshoring locations. Vietnam, like this city, is growing and changing. Speaking as an admiring outsider and colleague to over 1,500 talented local IT professionals, these changes are good.