Opportunities for Vietnam to participate in the global semiconductor industry value chain

VCN - The global chip race is heating up, and Vietnam has a unique opportunity to assert itself as one of the participants in the semiconductor industry value chain.

A “once-in-a-thousand-year” opportunity

Speaking at the Human Resources Development Conference for the Semiconductor Industry, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung stated that over the past 20 years, the semiconductor industry has experienced rapid growth and significant impacts in many countries and economies worldwide. From 2001 to 2021, the global semiconductor industry grew by 14% annually, reaching nearly $600 billion in revenue by 2023. The sector is expected to continue its robust growth, reaching $1 trillion by 2030.

Many countries and economies worldwide are eager to participate and have established specific mechanisms and policies, implementing particular actions to develop this crucial industry. Even developed countries are prepared to spend billions of dollars (about 30 - 50% of total investment) to support leading global semiconductor companies to invest in semiconductor projects in their countries.

In the trend of diversifying supply chains and the complex geopolitical developments worldwide, to leverage human resources, semiconductor industry companies have been shifting their focus to Asian countries to establish headquarters and factories. Vietnam holds several key advantages that declare it ready for the semiconductor industry, including high political determination from central to local government; an investment and business environment conducive to attracting major FDI companies in the electronics sector. Currently, over 50 semiconductor industry companies operate in Vietnam, such as Intel, Amkor, Hana Micron (packaging, testing); Ampere, Marvell, Cadence, Renesas, Synopsys, Qorvo (design); and Lam Research, Coherent (equipment manufacturing).

Moreover, Vietnam is also a country with a workforce of quality and reasonable cost, easily transitioning from the electronics industry, with more than 50% of the population under 30 years old (the golden population era) and about 1.8 million university and college graduates annually. Vietnam has upgraded comprehensive strategic partnerships with most countries with a developed semiconductor industry. The joint statement on upgrading Vietnam - USA relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership explicitly mentions two breakthrough cooperation contents: innovation and high technology, including the semiconductor industry. Notably, Vietnam is one of the few countries with which the USA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation to develop the semiconductor industry ecosystem, emphasizing cooperation in human resource development.

"With the above context and advantages, Vietnam has a once-in-a-thousand-year opportunity to participate in the global semiconductor industry value chain," emphasized Minister Nguyen Chi Dung.

It can be affirmed that human resources are Vietnam's biggest and most distinctive advantage compared to other countries and economies worldwide. Illustration photo: H. Diu
It can be affirmed that human resources are Vietnam's biggest and most distinctive advantage compared to other countries and economies worldwide. Illustration photo: H. Diu

Leveraging the advantage of human resources

According to estimates, the global demand will need an additional more than 1 million personnel by 2030 for all stages of design, production, assembly, packaging, and testing of chips. With an abundant supply of labor and a workforce of quality, it can be affirmed that human resources are Vietnam's biggest and most distinctive advantage compared to other countries and economies worldwide. Therefore, focusing on investing, training, and retraining the workforce to join the labor market as soon as possible is a strategic direction, a decisive factor to leverage investment cooperation opportunities, access, transfer technology, and promote rapid and sustainable economic development based on science, technology, and innovation.

From the business perspective, Mr. Marc Woo, CEO of Google Vietnam, stated, "As the CEO of Google in Vietnam, I have witnessed the great spirit of innovation in Vietnam. Firstly, investing in infrastructure is very important to promote the development of artificial intelligence in Vietnam. For example, emerging markets need appropriate infrastructure to develop artificial intelligence talent. They need access to cloud computing. Promoting reliable cross-border data flows will also ensure the sharing of datasets, information, and expertise necessary to nurture Vietnam's intellectual talent. Equally important is a strong plan to enhance artificial intelligence skills. Economies supported by artificial intelligence require a workforce proficient in artificial intelligence. I would like to mention some examples of Google's commitment to the Vietnamese market, such as we recently offered 40,000 Google Career Certificates scholarships about artificial intelligence across Vietnam. This program will equip workers with the necessary skills to develop themselves in the job market about artificial intelligence.

Additionally, I believe that the government should introduce supportive policies to encourage the establishment of a strong artificial intelligence ecosystem, including policies on prioritizing cloud computing technologies," added the CEO of Google Vietnam.

By Xuan Thao/Tran Minh

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