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Telco, IT investments sought

An office in the Da Nang Software Park. The telecommunications sector,
which grew by more than 20 per cent each year during the 2005-10 period,
is ripe for further investment. — VNA/VNS Photo Van Son

HCM CITY — The Government is promoting new investment opportunities to foreign and domestic firms in the information technology (IT) and telecommunications industries, said Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Tran Duc Lai.

‘Education and training for the IT workforce in Viet Nam, which is a priority in the Government policy, is among several promising potential markets for potential investors,’ Lai told the fourth Technology Business Conference, which opened yesterday in HCM City.

The country’s IT workforce was huge, but firms struggled to find staff with professional qualifications and foreign language skills, he said.

With an annual growth rate of more than 20 per cent during the 2005-10 period, telecommunications services is also a potential market for enterprises. ‘The Government is prioritising projects on building broad band infrastructure and providing broad band services,’ he added.

Despite the strong growth during the past ten years, the implementation of Government policies and projects to develop the IT and telecommunications sectors have been still slow due to the shortage of capital and qualified personnel.

In September, the Government approved a project on development of IT and telecommunications for the 2011-20 period, which targets an internet penetration rate of 70 per cent by 2020.

The nation also aims to have one million qualified IT workers by 2020, and become one of the world’s top ten software outsourcing countries.

The IT sector already has huge growth momentum, as the industry recorded an annual growth rate of 20-25 per cent during the past 10 years, the highest growth rate in the economy.

Turnover for telecommunications services was estimated to reach US$8.8 billion this year, an increase of nearly 30 per cent compared with last year.

As of the end of 2009, the country had 130 million mobile phone users while the number of internet users accounted for more than 27 per cent of the country’s population.

Basic telecommunications services such as home telephones, mobile phones and internet access covered 63 cities and provinces nationwide.

A Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation between the Hoa Lac High-Tech Park and Strategic Alliance Vietnamese Ventures International (SAVVi), IDG Ventures Viet Nam (IDGVV) and DFJ VinaCapital (DFJV) was signed yesterday at the conference.

More than 30 speakers who are executives from domestic and foreign firms, including Viet Nam Online Network, Google, Yahoo!, IBM Venture Capital Group and Global CyberSoft, discussed issues related to the development of the country’s technology industry at the meeting.

Discussion topics also included the Government’s role in helping technology companies develop in Viet Nam and key elements necessary for innovation that can be localised for Viet Nam.

The conference, which is co-organised by SAVVi, IDGVV, DFJV and IBM, is held for the first time in Viet Nam.

Source: Vietnam News