Ten years after the installation of US giant Intel, Vietnam has gained a new status on the world technology scene, which did not escape the industry giants like Google, which sees the country as one of its main markets in the future.
And today, when a head of state is on official travel, there is no shortage to come and visit one of the many small, innovative companies in the field.
As Barack Obama in May, François Hollande visited Wednesday in Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, economic capital and cradle of Vietnamese new technologies.
François Hollande visited the premises of Linkbynet, French IT company based in Vietnam for two years.
“ Vietnam has very good technicians and computer ,” said Thuy Bui, CEO of this company. “ The country is young and forward these and Vietnamese universities are leading in this area ,” he adds.
According to the latest ranking of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) dating from 2012, Vietnam ranks in fact ahead of the United States, Britain and France math and science.
Thuy Bui, the country is now “ a good alternative to India, particularly for small businesses .”
Many of the technologies, such as mobile applications or e-commerce software, are intended for local consumers in a country where the median age is 30 years and internet connectivity is expanding.
“ The local market is large, young, with rapid growth and is not yet saturated “, analysis Eddie Thai causes 500 Startups, investment funds turned to new technologies.
Eddie Thai, born in the US to Vietnamese parents who fled the regime, the potential of Vietnam is clear: the country has 90 million inhabitants, 45 million Internet users, 30 million people with a smartphone and internet use has increased tenfold in ten years.
And the dynamism of the sector leads many Vietnamese who live or have studied abroad to return.
“ After a few years working in France, I wanted to return to participate in the growth of the country. It’s very exciting to see all the start-ups and new companies , “said Hau Nguyen, who works for Officience, computer company.
– Engineers trained abroad –
Hau Nguyen studied in France, which remains outside Asia, the third destination behind the United States and Australia for students Vietnamese. In total, 6,500 of them come to study in France every year.
These young people are an essential breeding ground for new companies very interested in the workforce still inexpensive compared to India, China or Singapore.
Meanwhile, “ the government is investing heavily to promote IT in Vietnamese universities ,” said Truong Thi Pham, who works for Linagora French company creation software implanted at Vietnam.
There are no official figures on the sector but according to state media sales high tech sector has reached $ 3 billion (2.7 billion euros ) last year against 2 billion in 2010.
the government has also drawn a strategy for the sector and based in Ho Chi Minh City the “ Vietnam Silicon Valley “in 2013 to create a” ecosystem for innovation and commercialization of technology . ”
“ Vietnam operates in the field of technology for some years. But it is now in the process of moving up the value chain ” analysis Romain Caillaud, Director Southeast Asia to the US company FTI Consulting.
“ The sector grows because Vietnam has made judicious strategic choices in terms of tax benefits, attractiveness for foreign investment “, it adds.
But the fact remains that many obstacles still exist in authoritarian countries to the single party.
“ Vietnam has a hidden technological potential, but it could take five years perhaps appear large companies that have a global impact ,” said Anh Minh do, Vertex Venture Holdings analyst based in Singapore.