Software firms hold Japanese firmly, make friends with Asian

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese software exporters tend to expand their Asian markets together with exploiting the loyal markets of Japan or the US.

Hurrying to seek new markets

Despite the world’s gloomy economy, Vietnamese software firms still reaped fruits in the first six months of the year.

The Corporation for Financing and Promoting Technology (FPT), for example, had the total software export turnover higher by 30 percent than that of the same period of the last year. Meanwhile, CMC Soft earned 500,000 dollars in the period between April 1, to the end of July 2012.

Japan and the US remain the two biggest loyal markets for Vietnamese software exporters. The turnover from the Japanese market accounts for 54 percent of FPT’s total export turnover, while the export turnover to the market has been growing steadily by 40 percent per annum. Meanwhile, the 50 percent growth rate has been forecast for the US market in 2012.

However, Vietnamese IT firms have seen some signs of slowdown in the markets. Tran Vu Viet Anh, a senior executive of CMC Soft, said the Japanese economy has been facing big difficulties because of the natural calamities and the world’s economic recession, which makes it very difficult to find new partners in the market.

In fact, CMC Soft has got some more new Japanese partners so far this year, but the values of the contracts signed with them remain modest.

Therefore, Vietnamese IT firms have all been hurrying to seek new markets. “We can see the great potentials from South East Asia. A lot of multinational groups have their business branches in the region thanks to the favorable business environment, preferential policies and cheap labor force,” Anh explained.

“Besides, we have also got some orders from North European clients,” he added.

Nguyen Ich Vinh, General Director of the Tinh Van Software Export Company, has also said the US and European economies are facing big difficulties, which makes it impossible to expand the markets. Therefore, Tinh Van now focuses on exporting software products to Japan and Singapore.

An executive of FPT Soft, though confirming that Japan and the US remain the two main markets for FPT Soft, has said that FPT has laid down the foundation for it to march towards the European market. It is expecting the positive signals from the German market in 2012.

Laborforce remains a headache

In fact, despite the current economic difficulties, the loyal markets remain big enough. The Japanese market, for example, had the software outsourcing value of 10 billion dollars in 2011, while FPT, a Vietnamese “big guy” could earn 35 million dollars only from the market.

Observers have noted that Vietnamese firms still cannot treat their chronic disease of lacking qualified professional staff, who have good foreign language skills and soft skills.

An executive of FPT said in the first half of 2012, FPT received a lot of orders from big clients, including the contracts valued at millions of dollars. However, the firm was seriously lacking the workforce.

Since the labor force provided by universities cannot satisfy the demand, FPT has to make investment in training establishments itself to ensure the sustainable supply of personnel for the company.

In 2012, FPT plans to train 1200 software engineers, while 760 have been trained in the first half of the year. It hopes to have 5000 engineers by the end of 2013, while the figure would rise to 10,000 by 2016.

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