That is the affirmation that PhD. Vo Tri Thanh, former Vice President of the Central Institute for Economic Management, made on the current shift of Vietnam’s economy.
What do you think about the transformation of our country nowadays?
Our country is shifting to a whole new stage of development. Many enterprises have been rushing to prepare for both opportunities and challenges when the country is deeply integrating into the world.
During the emergence of "Fourth Industrial Revolution", many private companies are shifting their investment to technology and "grey matter". Giant challenges await, but the opportunity of "growing up" is only for those who dare to innovate.
The average duration of the 500 biggest enterprise brands in the world has dropped from 60 years to 15 years. Unless they innovate to adapt to the new world, even giant companies can also collapse.
How does the fact that powerful enterprises like Vingroup radically shift its focus to technology impact the economy?
Vingroup and other famous enterprises have more conditions to master technology and creativity. They can catch up, move along and even set the trend in some areas, which is good as they also contribute to the national brand.
As of now, they can attract the best people around the world to help them accomplish their goals. Then, the value, contribution, image and brand of the company, as well as our country, will be much more beautiful.
Changing the value of a country requires large enterprises. How can we have more such enterprises?
To move forward, every country needs major companies which have the ability to compete, especially the ability to lead. This calls for practical support policies that are suitable for worldwide trends and international commitments from the State.
But most importantly, enterprises are the ones to make real differences. Why does our country only have large businesses but not any leading ones? They are large regarding total assets, capital, labour, turnover, profit.
However, to be considered “leading”, they must have a global brand as this is a global game. They must have the high-level technology. According to the new criteria, their products must meet such standards as being green, smart, human for example, which are big challenges for domestic enterprises.
So, to be considered “leading”, they must have enough aspirations and skills, as well as be professional and smart. Finally, they should only compete by the quality products in the global market.
Do you worry about small and medium enterprises?
It is said that they are always the majority (over 90% of total enterprises), but they are also the weak. Moreover, small and medium enterprises are the largest contributors to the competitiveness in the market. Without competition, there is no market. They are the source of entrepreneurial spirit.
After all, creativity is a personal matter that usually stems from micro, small and medium enterprises. The thing is that large enterprises are often the owner of invention copyright, as they can purchase the copyright or hire the inventors.
In contrast, in Japan or Germany for example, many small and medium enterprises are very powerful because their products have the creativity essence, which then become an integral part of the value chain.
In your opinion, why are Vietnamese people intelligent but lacking in inventiveness?
There has been a great debate about this. Perhaps it is the ability to quickly adapt to new situations of the Vietnamese, which made them easier to accept the beaten track rather than to make a breakthrough.
However, the current situation makes many Vietnamese businesses understand that they have to change the way of thinking and be more innovative to rise. This is a positive signal for the whole country.
Thank you very much!