Search Asia Times

Advanced Search

Southeast Asia

Vietnam expects higher demand from Japan

HANOI - The Vietnam Software Association (Vinasa) estimates that the export of locally made software products to the Japanese market will reach US$350 million by 2010, said the president of Vinasa, Truong Gia Binh.

After returning from a visit to Tokyo, Japan, last month, Binh said the export plans will be a great opportunity for the country's software industry.

He added that Vietnam is the fourth-largest manufacturer of Japanese software after China, India and South Korea.

Still, Binh said the Japanese plan to treat Vietnam's software producers as a first priority. Japanese companies have provided the Vietnamese software industry with valuable incentives, including training programs.

Vinasa's surveys show that in recent years, some 20 Japanese software companies have conducted surveys on the Vietnamese software industry.

Vinasa predicted that the revenue from software exports to Japan will reach $5 million this year, $9.5 million by 2005 and $350 million by 2010.

The average annual domestic growth rate is expected to increase by between 80-120%.

A shortage of skilled labor and language barriers were named as the major hurdles to the Vietnamese information technology (IT) workforce, Binh revealed.

Vietnam now has 500 IT workers who are proficient Japanese speakers. However, most of them are now in Japan for training and work.

"Software programers who were sent to Japan for short training courses needed help from interpreters. But that was a temporary solution." Binh said.

In an attempt to address the hurdles, Vinasa will open a Japanese language center to teach Japanese to software programers and IT engineers so as to help them work easily with their Japanese partners.

"If everything goes as planned, Vinasa expects to post 10% of the Japanese software market. This means that Vietnam needs to have at least 18,229 software programers," Binh added. "This is a huge number."

A long-term course to train Vietnamese software programers in the Japanese language is under discussion between Hanoi Technology University and the Japanese Keio University, Ritssumeiken.

(Asia Pulse/VNA)

Jul 7, 2004


No material from Asia Times Online may be republished in any form without written permission.
Copyright 2003, Asia Times Online, 4305 Far East Finance Centre, 16 Harcourt Rd, Central, Hong Kong