Vietnam does poorly in global ranking of talent attraction

By Nguyen Quy   January 25, 2020 | 09:00 pm PT
Vietnam does poorly in global ranking of talent attraction
A foreign worker at a French startup company in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by AFP.
Vietnam trails behind most of its Southeast Asian peers and is in the bottom half of a global ranking in attracting talent.

It is in 96th place in the 2020 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), an annual report compiled by French business school INSEAD, Swiss HR company The Adecco Group and India's Tata Communications.

The ranking measured 132 economies in terms of their ability to attract, develop and incubate a talented workforce.

Vietnam, classified in the lower-middle income group, scored 35.11 out of 100.

Its Southeast Asian neighbors like Singapore (3rd), Malaysia (26th), Brunei (38th), the Philippines (46th), Indonesia (65th), and Thailand (67th) fared much better.

Vietnam ranked only above Laos (98th) and Cambodia (117th) among its neighbors.

Vietnam improved from last year in terms of growing and retaining talent, but fared poorly in attracting it, the report, released on Wednesday, said.

Political stability, personal safety, gender development gap, investment in emerging technologies, and robot density are factors that boosted its competitiveness.

But the country of 94 million also faces problems related to urban population, technology infrastructure, professional management, research expenditure, and presence of international students, it said.

It named corruption as a major challenge though a crackdown spearheaded by Party chief and President Nguyen Phu Trong has made outstanding gains in recent years, with several high-profile government officials and businessmen arrested and jailed for crimes from graft to money laundering.

It also said Vietnam has some outstanding qualities with its reading, science and math skills ranking as high as 19th in the world while its gender development gap ranks 13th.

The seventh edition of the ranking continues to demonstrate that a country’s talent attraction goes almost hand in hand with its economic status, with high-income countries taking the lead.

Switzerland maintains its position at the top, and is followed by the U.S. and Singapore. Sweden is fourth and Denmark rounds out the top five.

Last year Vietnam ranked 92nd out of 125 countries.

Around 90,000 foreigners lived and worked in Vietnam, mainly in Hanoi and HCMC, the country's two biggest cities, as of last year, according to official data.

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