Technology 4.0 key to boosting productivity: experts

Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 08:54

Pham Ngoc Hung, deputy chairman of the HCM City Union of Business Associations, speaks at a conference on improving Vietnamese business productivity in HCM City on Wednesday (June 6). – Photo Viet Dung.

Technology 4.0 and market research are key to improving Viet Nam’s poor productivity, experts told a conference on in HCM City on Wednesday.

Pham Ngoc Hung, deputy chairman of the HCM City Union of Business Associations, said production efficiency was key to competing in international markets as Viet Nam opens up to the world.

Viet Nam’s productivity is only around 7 per cent that of Singapore’s, 17 per cent of Malaysia’s and 37 per cent of Thailand’s, according to a 2016 report.

Over 90 per cent of businesses in Viet Nam are small or medium sized, and many of them still use outdated technologies, causing their quality to suffer.

Hung said 70 per cent of Viet Nam’s exports are by FDI companies, admitting: “There is a lack of trust in Vietnamese products due to perceived lower quality, and many firms choose not to do business with domestic suppliers.

“This in turn deters domestic suppliers from investing heavily in upgrading their facilities.”

Many small firms generally struggle to improve their technologies also because they do not have access to funding and market information and the drive to constantly update their technologies, he said.

Certain funding programmes are inaccessible to them due to complicated and lengthy procedures, he said.

The lack of a skilled workforce is also a problem, with many university graduates lacking practical experience, he said.

The relatively poor protection of intellectual property rights deter businesses from spending resources on research since they are afraid their work could be stolen, he said.

Many small businesses suffer from poor market research and often make plans without considering their customer base.

Ly Truong Chien from Tri Tri Consulting said to improve productivity Viet Nam has to constantly keep abreast of the rapidly changing technology trends.

Businesses need to study market trends and embrace technology 4.0 and modern techniques, utilising, for instance, big data to get a better picture of their customers, make a close examination of every stage of production rather than just the end products, and focus on developing the talents of their employees, he said.

He stressed the importance of market research, urging businesses (especially SMEs) to know their own products and customer base to gain a foothold in the market.

But businesses should carefully examine their own situation and adopt technologies appropriately rather than blindly copy from other countries, he added. – VNS

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