Vietnam Human Resources to Improve With Increasing Education Investment
By Nha Huynh
The Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency (FIA), has revealed that 213 education projects have received foreign direct investment, reaching a total of US$822 million registered capital up to May 20, 2015. The increasing capital poured in education sector goes a long way to increasing Vietnam’s human resources quality, promising multinational corporations a more skilled local labor force.
Vietnam’s education industry has become an attractive investment destination for foreign investors, with the presence of education and training projects from 24 countries including Australia, Japan, Singapore, the U.K. and U.S. One example is KinderWorld Education Group, a Singapore-based enterprise among the biggest investors in the sector. The Group is running 15 institutions across Vietnam including Singapore International School (SIS), KinderWorld International Kindergarten (KIK), Singapore-Vietnam International School (SVIS) and Pegasus International College (PIC), providing bilingual programs for students from kindergarten to university level.
Other noticeable projects are:
- US-Pacific University – a branch of the American Pacific University with US$150 million registered capital;
- British University Vietnam (BUV) with US$70 million registered capital;
- Nagai Vietnam Centre – a Japan-backed project with US$68.9 million registered capital;
- Oasis Development Management Ltd – undergone by a British Virgin Island’s investor with US$68 million registered capital;
- RMIT – backed by Australian investors with US$41.1 million registered capital;
- Tokyo Medical University with US$20 million registered capital.
Labor force low-cost and increasingly productive
In spite of Vietnam’s current increase in minimum salary, the country’s labor cost is still competitively low when compared to other countries in Southeast Asia. Although Vietnam’s low-cost labor has often been low-skilled, the country’s labor productivity is gradually increasing with an annual 3.7 percent growth rate in the 2005-2014 period. The nation’s rate of increase is growing – productivity grew 3.05 percent in 2012, 3.83 percent in 2013 and 4.34 percent in 2014. With 48 percent of the labor force working in agriculture in 2012, Vietnam’s current structural economic transitions will continue to boost productivity by reallocating the low-productivity agricultural labor to the industrial and service sectors.
We anticipate the continued investment in Vietnam’s education sector to be a key part in driving increased productivity overall, as schooling and training boosts the entire economy and provides the skills foreign investor need in the local labor force.
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