An agreement aimed at encouraging domestic companies to use more information technology, was signed on March 14 by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Vietnam Data Communication company (VDC).
Under the agreement VCCI?s Institute of Technology for Business (ITB) will play a key role in organising both institutions’ efforts to help businesses improve their technology as they integrate into the global economy.
Vu Tien Loc, VCCI chair, said the project is the result of realising Vietnamese businesses’ competitiveness is hindered by limited IT resources.
A report by the National Steering Committee on Information Technology (NSCIT) found that most businesses recognised the importance of IT but were confused as how to deploy new IT models in their operations.
Of the country’s nearly 1,500 businesses, up to 41% of those surveyed said they do not have IT sections.
NSCIT’s findings matched, the results of more recent surveys of the garment and chemical industries, conducted by the Central Institute of Economic Research (CIEM) and the United Nations Development Programme.
NSCIT reported a 16-17 point decline in Vietnamese business?s technology-based competitiveness index in 2004 compared with 2003.
?If Vietnam businesses travel a mile in technology, the world’s companies have gone twice as far,? said Le Xuan Ba, ClEM’s deputy director.
Nguyen Van Thao, vice general secretary of the VCCI and head of the ITB, said domestic businesses are increasingly seeking IT support from professional IT firms rather than developing IT divisions within their own firms.
Over the next five years, ITB and VDC will survey businesses’ IT demands, and the country’s capacity to provide and support IT applications in different industries.
ITB and VDC plan to build a database linking local businesses, international trade resources and national ministry offices.
?It will be Vietnam’s largest business information resource on the internet, covering the business and investment environments, trade, key markets, legal documents and business directories,? Thao said.
HP lends a hand
VCCI’s Da Nang City branch and Hewlett Packard Vietnam last week announced a joint initiative aimed at helping State-owned enterprises as well as small and medium-sized firms improve their IT divisions.
The Growing Enterprise Programme is designed to help Da Nang City outline an Information and Communications Technology Master Plan for the next 3-5 years.
Barney Yiu, HP Vietnam’s sales director, said the programme will support businesses which have already or are just beginning to invest in IT.
Future activities will include HP-sponsored workshops, quarterly IT updates, fact-finding visits to businesses in other Southeast Asian countries and response to IT queries via an electronic mailbox reserved specifically for this programme.