Could Vietnam soon rival the likes of India in the ever-popular world of outsourcing?
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam has emerged
on the scene as a lower-cost alternative to their
According to Hewitt and Associates annual
salary increase survey Indian professionals enjoyed
the highest average pay increases in Asia-Pacific,
with the Information Technology sector raking
in the biggest share of that increase. You may
not see anything wrong with this scenario. In
fact, if you work in IT in India this is probably
great. But highly skilled labour at low cost has
been the main attraction for foreign and Indian
companies alike, hoping to take advantage of Business
Process Outsourcing (BPO). For countries like
Vietnam this is a golden opportunity to become
as synonymous with BPO as India has become.
Many expect great things in 2005 for Vietnam.
The International Data Group (IDG) predicted the
country could rank fifth in IT market growth behind
Argentina, Turkey, Russia, and of course, India.
The south-east Asian nations potential hasnt
gone unnoticed. In February Microsoft Vietnam
announced they would donate $37,000 US and $63,000
US worth of software to help the northern Thai
Binh province implement an IT development project.
The money, which in Vietnamese currency amounts
to over 584,000,000 VND and more than 995,000,000
VND respectively, will provide elementary computer
training courses for youth from disadvantaged
families. The project is expected to train about
1,250 young people over the next three years.
Considering the population of Vietnam is over
80 million, this initiative may not seem like
it could make much of a difference. However, its
a sign that the country and companies like Microsoft
Vietnam are recognizing that highly skilled young
people are the key to a prosperous future.
Vietnam has big plans for growth and recently
signed a free-trade agreement with India. Both
countries hope that bilateral trade will reach
$1 billion US by next year. A representative of
the Vietnamese embassy in India said through the
agreement the two nations could promote bilateral
trade in industries like information technology.
Time will tell if Vietnam will eventually eclipse
its new free-trade partner in BPO. Even with an
average increase in pay for IT professionals in
India, along with the rising value of the Rupee,
many still think India will remain a mecca for
BPO. In the meantime, Vietnam is definitely considered