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Vietnam remains attractive to IT investors

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam remains an attractive destination for information technology and telecom investment, heard the 4th Technology Business Conference organized in HCMC on Wednesday by Strategic Alliance Vietnamese Venture International.

Speaking at the two-day event attended by CEOs and leaders of information technology enterprises, education organizations and state agencies, Nguyen Bao Hoang, managing general partner of IDG Ventures Vietnam, said operation costs in Vietnam remained low.

This is a competitive advantage for enterprises to do business in this market, Hoang told the roundtable aimed at exploring how to promote information technology and telecom in Vietnam and how entrepreneurship and innovation in a developing country can bring economic success.

Hoang said South Korea and Japan are home to many well-known companies but there is little room for investors there. So, investors may flock to Vietnam where there are plenty of spaces and opportunities for business development.

On the part of the Vietnamese Government, incentive policies should be adopted and more infrastructure developed to quickly absorb capital inflows, he said.

Experts and CEOs suggested the Government make more policies designed to extend preferential treatment toward small and medium enterprises because SMEs account for a majority of the local businesses.

Than Trong Phuc, managing director of DFJ VinaCapital, said the country should develop a mechanism in which State corporations are responsible for helping SMEs while the Government should create favorable conditions for SMEs to access investment funds.

Tran Duc Lai, deputy minister of information and communications, said the State could not provide continued financial support for enterprises because of budget constraints, so investment funds are a financing channel for them.

On Wednesday, Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park, Strategic Alliance Vietnamese Venture International, IDG Ventures Vietnam and DFJ VinaCapital signed a cooperation agreement to help local enterprises in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector gain easy access to these funds.

The Ministry of Information and Communications reported Vietnam’s ICT sector is growing fast with over 22 million Internet users and a penetration rate of over 25%. In 2009, the sector generated US$6.26 billion in revenue, 7% of Vietnam’s GDP.

The digital content industry registered a dramatic growth rate of 50% with revenue reaching US$700 million. The software industry gained an impressive 40% growth rate and revenue of US$880 million.

World-known ICT companies like Intel, Compal, Foxconn, Olympus and Samsung are present in Vietnam.

Source: VietNamNet/SGT