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Economic Sector

Last updated: Monday, March 25, 2019

 

“Vietnam will continue with approximately same growth rate as in 2018”

Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2019


“The key drivers of the economy in 2019 will be the private sector, improved productivity thanks to application of advanced technologies, and trade opportunities from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Transpacific Partnership,” said Mr. Brain Hull, CEO of ABB Vietnam, when asked about the prospects of Vietnam’s economy in 2019.

What development prospects do you think Vietnam holds for 2019?
In my view, Vietnam will continue with approximately the same growth rate as in 2018. The key drivers of the economy in 2019 will be the private sector, improved productivity thanks to application of advanced technologies, and trade opportunities from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Transpacific Partnership (CPTPP). If the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) comes into effect, this will give a further boost. However there are challenges caused by the relatively high ratio of public debt and potential impacts from other global trade tensions.

As a CEO of an FDI enterprise, what do you think about Vietnam’s investment and business environment?
Vietnam is well placed with a young workforce, rising middle class and growing economy. EuroCham’s report shows the confidence index of Vietnam’s trade and investment environment is growing. Sentiment of European business was at its strongest level in 18 months according to EuroCham’s most recent survey.

I believe that investment inflows will continue with the Government’s efforts in the development of appropriate and long term policies and investment decisions. These should focus on helping the country reap the benefits of innovative technologies, and so build up its competence to become a supply base.

One area that I trust will benefit from additional investment in 2019 is renewable energy, and in particular, solar. The current Feed In Tariff will cease for most of Vietnam at the end of June 2019, and to ensure the continued growth in this area, I would urge the government to set out clear new guidance on both the technological aspects (updated grid codes including required energy storage) and the financial aspects with publication of a new Feed In Tariff. In particular, having a mechanism for Direct Power Purchase, where industrial buyers and sellers can reach a win –win solution using clean energy, would be a great Tet gift to businesses.

We are optimistic about Vietnam’s outlook. We have opened the first ABB robotics technical and service center in the North – the first center of its kind in Vietnam to help our customers apply advanced manufacturing technologies to achieve manufacturing goals. Rapid inflows of investments will continue.

As Vietnam and also the whole world are expecting lots of changes, for example, China – U.S. trade war, CPTPP Agreement and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, what are the challenges and opportunities for Vietnam’s economy in 2019?
I think, like many areas in life, new technologies and agreements can bring both challenges and opportunities. FTA’s open new markets, but also introduce to the domestic market increased competition. This means that business have to constantly search for innovative products and technologies, that will allow them to meet the increasing demands of their customers. Managers also need excellent teams to deliver the new best that the new digital technology can bring, and so we need to continually invest in our employees as well. For example, in ABB Vietnam we have invested nearly 3,400 days of training, and sent our talents to leading US business schools to ensure they are updated on the latest management ideas. I believe this investment in creating a skilled workforce coupled with leading digital technology will give Vietnam the best opportunity to improve productivity and competitiveness and move higher up the global value chain.

Could you share your expectations about the development of ABB Vietnam in 2019?
We are optimistic about the Vietnamese market and proud to deepen our long term development here, as well as continuing our community engagement. Vietnam is at an exciting phase of its development. We have seen local large firms such as Vinfast using the latest technologies in their manufacturing base or State-owned corporations such as EVN starting looking for digital solutions for their new substations and control rooms. Whether it is about delivering smart cities, smart factories, smart grids or renewable energy or electric vehicles, we look forward to continuing to bring ABB’s innovative technologies into the country.

On our 25th year anniversary last year, we opened Vietnam’s first Robotics Technical and Services Center. We have also expanded our Scholarship Program to help five more talented students receive ABB’s scholarship every year now. There are many exciting activities planned such as a second robotics center in the South, supporting real estate developers building smart buildings and smart homes, and bringing the latest technologies into the learning environment in engineering universities.

Thank you very much!








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