International firms find Vietnam workforce attractive: survey

By Vien Thong   May 28, 2022 | 04:47 pm PT
International firms find Vietnam workforce attractive: survey
Labourers work at Ford Vietnam car factory in Hai Duong, Vietnam April 12, 2019. Photo by Reuters/Kham
Foreign companies doing business in Southeast Asia or considering it are attracted to Vietnam’s skilled labor force, a survey by HSBC has found.

The survey polled over 1,500 key decision-makers in companies running businesses with a turnover of at least US$5 million in six countries -- China, France, Germany, India, the U.K. and the U.S. -- in March.

Three in 10 said Vietnam’s skilled workforce is the most attractive feature.

The country’s optimistic economic outlook, competitive wages and resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic were all also seen as attractive, with 27 percent of respondents mentioning them.

Thirty six percent of U.S. companies were attracted by the opportunity Vietnam offers to test and develop new products or solutions, and 33 percent liked the country’s favorable regulations.

Indian firms were attracted by Vietnam’s supportive government and regulatory environment (49 percent) and infrastructure (39 percent).

German companies were attracted by supply chain ease and social and political stability, with a quarter of the respondents mentioning them.

Thirty percent of the French were particularly attracted by the optimistic outlook of the economy.

Tim Evans, general director of HSBC Vietnam, said the country is on its way to becoming one of the world’s manufacturing centers, thanks to its solid fundamentals and attractiveness for international investors.

Global businesses shifting to Vietnam is "not a temporary, but a long-term strategy," he added.

But the disruptive impact of the pandemic, and the challenges in adapting to contemporary sustainability requirements were the top issues faced by international businesses with operations in Vietnam.

Interestingly, despite the geological proximity, Chinese companies were over twice as likely to raise culture as an issue for operating in Vietnam than those from the U.K.

Some 31 percent of respondents said they worry about new regulations and rules on carbon reduction following Vietnam’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Three in 10 firms said they need to improve their internal sustainability expertise, but 36 percent flagged the difficulty of hiring employees with the suitable sustainability credentials and knowledge.

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