Vietnam a rising destination for Italian companies in Industry 4.0

15:20 | 06/06/2019
Italian businesses are flocking to Vietnam to find opportunities as it is embracing Industry 4.0 to become a technology hub in Southeast Asia and break with its image of a low-cost, export-orientated manufacturing destination.
vietnam a rising destination for italian companies in industry 40
Italian Technologies for Vietnam's Smart & Circular Economy workshop

Carlo Ferro, president of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), said at the Italian Technologies for Vietnam's Smart & Circular Economy workshop hosted by ITA in co-operation with the Embassy of Italy in Hanoi on June 5: “At the moment, Vietnam is also aiming to lower manufacturing costs by using more high technology and digitalisation in the context of Industry 4.0. Italy has 800 technology research institutes, all capable of supporting Vietnam to reach this goal.”

He added that innovation has always been part of the Italian mindset, helping firms get by or even lead the way in times of uncertainty. Indeed, thanks to an open approach to challenges, knowledge, and the sharing of best practices, many Italian firms have become champions of innovation, giving them an important edge in the market.

The workshop aims to promote and develop new opportunities of trade, investment, and technological collaboration between Italy and Vietnam as a partnership towards innovation and sustainability. Italy has great strengths in these areas, which aligns with the Vietnamese government’s current focus on high technology and environmentally friendly investment projects such as renewable energy, smart infrastructure, and machinery.

vietnam a rising destination for italian companies in industry 40

When asked about potential collaboration between Italy and Vietnam, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte emphasised: “We admire Vietnam’s GDP, and I have agreed with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc that we can improve our bilateral trade to reach $10 billion. Vietnam has a double advantage: it can be both a consumption market for, and a manufacturing partner of Italian companies in the era of Industry 4.0.”

The workshop alsoshowcased instances of success where Italian assistance helped Vietnamese companies in improving product quality. Examples included the Italy-Vietnam Footwear Technological Training Center for technology transfer, consultancy, and the training of trainers in the footwear industry. Italy is now well-positioned to enhance business ties with Vietnam, particularly in technology innovation as the latter is gearing towards a smart industry and circular economy which is presented as a system of resource utilisation where reduction, reuse, and recycling prevail.

Diep Thanh Kiet, vice chairman of the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbags Association, said that Italy-Vietnam Footwear Technological Training Center is equipped with modern machinery and equipment – the latest technology imported directly from Italy and other European countries that bring small- and medium-sized enterprises in the leather-footwear industry the opportunity to approach, research, and develop new products.

“The project aims to improve the capacity and contribute to the development of Vietnam’s industry,” said Kiet.

Meanwhile, Dao Phan Long, chairman of the Vietnam Association of Mechanical Industry, told VIR that the words “Made in Italy” will have a new meaning as the country’s Industria 4.0 initiative gains traction and attention for bringing advanced technologies and educational resources to manufacturing.

"There is huge potential between the two countries, especially in mechanical engineering, infrastructure, and 4.0 Industry," said Long.

vietnam a rising destination for italian companies in industry 40
The Vietnamese business community is taking the lead through action to achieving the country's sustainable development goals

“The Vietnamese business community is very keen and is leading the way to achieving sustainable development goals. Currently, Vietnam is being selective in attracting foreign direct investment, directing foreign-invested projects to the fields of advanced technology, especially eco-friendly technology. Each year, Vietnam would need $25 billion in infrastructure development alone, but cannot use ODA investment like before. This means the public-private-partnership model is now a highly-viable option,” said Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

By Phuong Thu

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