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|Better education and training of labourers is key to meet the Industry 4.0 trend, Photo: Le Toan|
Vingroup’s deputy CEO Vo Quang Hue said at a recent conference on smart industry, “Preparing for Industry 4.0 tomorrow starts with education today. To secure qualified human resources, in addition to finding leading domestic and foreign experts, Vingroup has established the Vinfast Training Centre, which offers training in two main fields, industrial machinery and mechatronics.”
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc
The world is moving from the era of electronics, automation, and computerisation to the era of digitisation, intelligentisation, and artificial intelligence. We have seen new business models quite different from traditional ones, like global media agencies that don’t hold the copyright on news, global taxi firms don’t own cars, and global hotels don’t own hotel rooms, which are forming a new economic era–the digital economy.
Industry 4.0 opens up a new period in human development – the digital era, which is forecast to impact all activities of the government and society. This is a historic opportunity, but also a challenge for national reforms and development. To grasp this opportunity, the government has to innovate, transform to become a government of the 4.0 era, with full capacity in governance and development in the digital age. In the meantime, all ministries, sectors and the entire society need to change in awareness and act to take advantage of IT and digital technologies, and to meet the challenges of the new digital-based economy.
He revealed that Vingroup’s $1.5 billion automobile complex Vinfast in the northern port city of Haiphong has selected leading firms from Europe as their main partners in designing and manufacturing production lines for two sedan and SUV models. They will provide Vinfast with data collection and management systems, business planning systems, product lifecycle management systems, and production management systems, as well as designing and installing five production plants, namely stamping, welding, painting, engine production, and final assembly plants.
The welding plant is equipped with 1,200 robots and is expected to be the most modern fully automated car body welding factory in Southeast Asia when operational.
Vinfast is considered a pioneer of smart manufacturing in Vietnam, augmenting the position of the country’s automobile industry globally and creating a spill-over effect to boost the development of other industries that want to become smarter.
Brian Hull, director of ABB Vietnam, which has been active in the Vietnamese market for 25 years, told VIR, “Industry 4.0 is a fantastic opportunity for an emerging country like Vietnam. As investors come to Vietnam, they can take advantage of equipping their facilities with the latest products and systems. I think the major challenge will be to ensure we have the talent in the country to take advantage of such opportunities.”
Nguyen Trung Chinh, chairman of CMC Corporation, said that the government should improve educational policies and syllabuses in universities and colleges as well as providing incentives for the private sector in training workers. He warned that the risk of being left behind is especially severe for countries that currently use low-quality and cheap labour as a competitive tool.
According to Truong Gia Binh, chairman of FPT, Industry 4.0 will require a suitable regulatory framework. “We should go one step ahead and international organisations and businesses will see Vietnam as the destination to head for in the era of Industry 4.0,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said that his ministry conducted a survey on the availability of Industry 4.0 solutions in enterprises at the end of 2017. The results showed that most industrial production firms are still lagging behind, with 61 per cent of enterprises still untouched by Industry 4.0 and 21 per cent just having started preparatory activities.
Another survey of 2,000 firms made by the Hanoi Association of Small and Medium Enterprises found that 79 per cent of respondents had not started to prepare for Industry 4.0.
Vietnam has many opportunities to partake in the new technology wave, as it boasts a youthful domestic market of more than 93 million people and over 130 million mobile subscriptions. 4G networks cover almost 99 per cent of the country, with nearly 60 million mobile broadband (3G, 4G) subscriptions nationwide.