July 22, 2015.
Vietnam is striving to become one of the world’s leading technology manufacturers, but many of its college graduates are not properly equipped to do more than just assemble devices. To address this issue, several global tech companies, including Samsung and LG, have started their own programs to better educate and train their workers in Vietnam. Technology manufacturing has helped boost Vietnam’s economy, causing an increase of 6.3% in the nation’s GDP in the first half of 2015. Thanks to Samsung’s launch of its mobile device factory in the northern part of the country, Vietnam started exporting more than it imported for the first time in 20 years. Motivated by this success, Samsung has made agreements with local universities so that its workers can now take free courses at night in the factories. Samsung is also working with the Vietnamese government to digitize textbooks, advanced reference manuals, and other books by establishing 50 “Smart Libraries” throughout both major cities and rural areas. Along with Samsung, many other large tech companies have taken action as well. LG is sponsoring scholarships and internships for college students and is considering partnership with universities to provide specialty training. Jabil is running a year-long training program for new workers who have the potential to advance in the company. Also, Intel formed the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program, or HEEAP, which trains Vietnamese professors from eight different universities on how to teach engineering in a more modern and efficient way. Looking toward growth and innovation, all these efforts are in hopes that Vietnam will become one of the world’s leading technology manufacturers.
Louie Nguyen, CFA is the CIO of San Diego-based Soledad Investment Management. Soledad invests qualified clients’ assets in markets around the world, including Vietnam.