As reprinted in Vietnam+, here, the Vietnam News Agency has called for increased technology transfer to production companies in Vietnam. The call sites dismal numbers of high tech usage by manufacturers in Vietnam stating that nearly 60% of manufacturers are using technology that is outdated while only 2% use high technology. This is disturbing, especially in light of news from Nintendo, Samsung, and other high tech industrial giants of their moving of manufacturing to Vietnam.

Will Vietnam be ready?

It’s hard to tell. The pre-planning strategy of the Central Committee and the National Assembly makes it difficult to predict the correct path to advancement economically. Take for instance the recent curtailment of renewable energy in the Central plains. While nearly 4GW of power came online through new solar power facilities, the planning for the national grid called for that same amount of energy to be available from nuclear sources in several years from now. Thus, the grid is under construction to handle the new power in 2025, not today when it is needed.

Other examples abound, but the principle is sound. Pre-planning can only do so much in advance of reality.

Thus the question, will Vietnam be ready for the new influx of high tech manufacturing? Assuredly, new manufacturing sites will be constructed by the likes of Nintendo and Samsung that will include all the technology that they need, and transfer that technology to the manufacturers with whom they work, but in general, Vietnam is not ready for competition on the international manufacturing scene.

Technology transfer, as VNA quotes B.T. Tee, General Director of Informa Markets Vietnam,

“is important in improving global competitiveness for local manufacturers in Vietnam.”

Without the technology to make Vietnam competitive on the world market–to compete with the likes of South Korea, Taiwan, and even Thailand or Indonesia–the manufacturing industry will be left catering to its domestic market, a market that is currently capped at slightly more than 96 million people. This is a disservice to the economy and to the country. Manufacturing needs to lift itself up, whether by bootstrap or government fiat, to compete on a global level. There are predicted to be 11 billion people on Earth by the end of the century, and Vietnam is one of the countries that can take advantage of that market, if it sees fit to improve its technology.

And technology transfer from overseas partners is one of the fastest ways to do so.