Vietnam’s transition from a centrally planned to a market economy has transformed the country from one of the poorest in the world into one of the most dynamic in the East Asia region. The government has created several new “technoparks” around the country to support IT and software outsourcing.
Talent Pool & Education
The Vietnamese government has announced plans to focus on the development of 6G infrastructure in 2022 and strengthen existing digital infrastructure. Plans include an emphasis on cloud computing, digital platforms, and software services. A recent report found the country’s digital economy is growing at a pace of $136 billion a year. With its emerging middle class (expected to reach 26% by 2026), Vietnam is becoming an innovation hub in Southeast Asia: Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, in particular, have seen a spike in growth of startups, and many software developers and engineers have experience working in the United States or Europe.
Vietnamese is the official language. English skills are generally weak but improving, especially in the younger population (older Vietnamese may be more proficient in French, the official language under colonial rule). English is often spoken with a heavy accent that can be difficult to understand over VoIP, but engineers can usually read and write English, so written communication is an effective collaboration tool.
The economy is expected to recover swiftly in 2022, following rapid progress in vaccinating the local population and the lifting of coronavirus-related restrictions. Export-oriented manufacturing will remain the most important driver, but the internet economy is growing by 40% a year, as the country looks to a future beyond its traditional base. A recent report by the World Bank says making the trade sector more sustainable should be a priority: “Promoting greener trade will not only help Vietnam follow through on its pledge to reach net zero emission in 2050 but will also help it keep its competitive edge in international markets and ensure trade remains a critical income and job generator.”
A third term for Nguyen Phu Trong as General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, ending in 2026, will ensure policy continuity and rule out major political reform, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. Regarded as a close ally in the region, Vietnam is one of America’s top-10 trading partners, and economic commentators expect those ties to strengthen.