CEOs in Vietnam are confident in business growth in 2018

By Dang Hoa - Dec 29, 2017 | 07:15 AM GMT+7

TheLEADERVietnam is expected to rank first in the top ten APEC destinations to receive a net increase in cross-border investment over the next 12 months, slightly ahead of China, Indonesia and the United States.

CEOs in Vietnam are confident in business growth in 2018

According to a recent report of PwC, one of the Big Four global auditors, up to 92 per cent of Vietnamese CEOs are confident in growth for their business over the next 12 months.

Vietnam will continue strongly attracting investments from other countries in the world (source: PwC)

Currently, the economic development associated with innovation is increasingly encouraged and promoted in Vietnam; therefore, the innovation activities have been improved, creating confidence for the business community. According to the report, 36 per cent of Vietnamese CEOs are more confident today in launching a new product or service than they were one year ago, 22 per cent higher than last year.

Also, 36 per cent of CEOs are more confident today than they were a year ago in increasing profit margin from domestic operations while 22 per cent are less confident.

CEOs in Vietnam expressed their confidence in expanding operations in Asia Pacific economies outside the principal economy as well as Increasing profit margins in international operations. Up to 64 per cent of Vietnamese CEOs said that they will increase their global investment of which 71 per cent is expected to be invested in APEC’s 21 economies. Also, in 2018, newly signed FTAs are expected to contribute significantly to the increase in revenue opportunities.

However, CEOs in Vietnam expressed their concern about the changes in the global trade environment in the next 12 months, especially the increase in barriers to employing foreign labour, providing or receiving services across borders, moving goods across borders, investing in another economy, decreasing in revenue opportunities due to stalled or collapsed trade agreement and moving data across borders.

Compared to last year, CEOs in Vietnam are less confident today that they can attract and retain the people they need to compete in global markets.

Human resources training is the top priority

According to PwC, building a workforce fit for the future is one of the biggest concerns for Vietnam CEOs. They recognize the importance of adapting to the digital age and have signed up to lead the transformation of the workforce.

CEOs in Vietnam are investing in automation and forms of artificial intelligence, like machine learning. These actions point to a future workforce that is more analytical, more intelligence-consuming, and less focused on the commoditized task.

“We have to train the labor force to adapt to and use new technologies. We need to build a thorough plan and prepare the necessary talent to execute new business ideas and adapt to Industry 4.0. This is one of our big concerns. We see a need to recruit the right talent and act fast. Preparing the human factor is always key,” said Truong Thi Le Khanh, Chairperson of Vinh Hoan Corporation.

CEOs in Vietnam believe that more can be done to help all workers in APEC economies adapt to the era of greater automation and jobs rebalancing. Findings reveal Vietnamese CEOs rate greater investment by business in continuous learning and increasing business investment in education systems as the most effective ways to accelerate digital workforce readiness. This is followed by expanding public-private initiatives in workforce training.

“Vietnam has got a great workforce. We have got a young population, but it should not end up becoming a manufacturing place for only low-value items or mass items. It should upgrade the skills of its workforce to also become the manufacturer of very high-end items,” said Uday Shankar Sinha, CEO & General Director, Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverage.