IT Parks in Vietnam: Present and Future

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HANOI – Vietnam now has seven IT development zones: Saigon Hi-Tech Park, Saigon Software Park, Quang Trung Software Park, Hanoi IT Trading Center, Da Nang ICT Infrastructure Development Center, National University of Ho Chi Minh City’s IT Park and Can Tho University Software Center.

According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, the current IT parks house more than 700 companies, including 220 foreign companies. They mainly specialize in manufacturing digital content services, business process outsourcing (BPO), domestic software business consultancy and incubation, etc. They are hiring more than 30,000 staff, which account for 25 percent of the software industry’s labor force in the country.

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The Quang Trung Software Park is the biggest one at the moment. There are 108 IT businesses there and outsource to 20 countries including the U.S., Japan and Europe. Last year reported a turnover of around VND 2.87 trillion (US$130 million), a 35.5 percent increase year-on-year.

Last month, the government passed a proposal to develop the information technology industry in Vietnam, in which 19 IT parks will be built in the period from now until 2025. However, many experts doubt the feasibility of the plan.

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According to Lam Nguyen Hai Long, vice director of Quang Trung Software Park (QTSP), it is not easy to build an IT park, especially in provinces with limited resources. IT park development is more complicated than normal industrial park development. The authorities should consider the social and economic capability of the region before starting the projects, remarked Lam Nguyen Hai Long.

For example, even though the QTSP received plenty of support from Ho Chi Minh City authorities, it took the park 13 years to obtain the ISO 9001:2008 quality management certificate and the ISO 27001:2008 information security management certificate.

Human resources are the main issue for both domestic and foreign firms in the IT industry. According to the Ho Chi Minh Computer Association, businesses in Ho Chi Minh City need about 80,000 IT workers every year. However, the local IT worker supply only meets roughly 20 percent of that demand. If Vietnam wants to develop its IT industry, IT human resource problems should be solved to meet the needs of large companies.

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