Three factors that Vietnam should focus on to boost innovative startups are capital, human resources and legal framework, according to Nguyen Quynh Tram, Google country director for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Google Country Director for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia Nguyen Quynh Tram.
Vietnam has a dynamic economy and provides a good environment for piloting new technologies, said Ms. Tram at the ASEAN Startup Forum 2020 held recently in Hanoi, adding the country’s digital economy is estimated at US$9 billion in 2018 and there is still enormous potential for further development.
To further aid startup development in Vietnam, Google has been organizing events to connect investors, small and medium enterprises and experts. In 2019, over 11,000 developers and over 2.200 students joined events held by Google, she noted.
This year, Google continues to provide support for startups regarding cloud computing, machine learning, or artificial intelligence, as well as two initiatives in Vietnam Online Hackathon and QuanQuanGCP.
In the current context, however, Ms. Van noted many challenges are causing delay in the development of a startup ecosystem in Vietnam.
The first is startups' lack of financial support in their early stage of development. Most of unicorns only receive funds after they have established certain reputation in the market. Therefore, startups should be able to access funds, maybe via venture capital, to help them overcome difficulties at the beginning.
The second is manpower. Ms. Tram said current education system has not provided students with the skills needed to meet requirements of enterprises. As such, there should be more cooperation in the form of public-private partnership in training manpower for enterprises.
The third is the lack of legal framework for innovative startups. Vietnam currently does not have an effective legal framework to manage innovative business models, therefore, Ms. Tram urged policymakers to soon provide support policies which are friendly to innovative startups.