“The current situation is lacking electrical component supplies for tech-startups in Vietnam and many countries around the world.”, according to Mr Thieu Phuong Nam – Country Manager at Qualcomm Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia tại Vietnam Innovation Challenge.
This is also the complaint from Viet startups. If they use China’s products, the consumers will complain. The General Statistics Office released data on the electronics industry, showing that in the first quarter of 2022, imports reached $26 billion, mainly input materials and components. The tech sector’s reliance on imported products compounds the situation, resulting in low value-added domestic products.
88% of supporting industry enterprises who supply raw materials, spare parts and components are small and medium sized, with 300 employees or less. “If the supporting industry makes an improvement, it will help increase the localization rate and create a developed processing and manufacturing industry.”, according to Mr. Nguyen Hoang, Chairman of the Association of Supporting Industry Enterprises in HCMC.
“Therefore, Qualcomm Vietnam has been helping Viet startups in the Qualcomm Vietnam Innovation Challenge since 2019 with this issue.”, according to Mr Thieu Phuong Nam. The company also connected these startups with Qualcomm’s ecosystem around the world to commercializing their products globally.
Qualcomm Việt Nam collaborated with leading Vietnamese OEMs and mobile network operators for many years, and recently have been working with the industry and government to realize Industry 4.0 policy and “Make in Vietnam” objectives.
This challenge, which involves the support of Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology, will enable the development of Vietnam’s rising technology ecosystem by identifying and nurturing innovative small- and medium-sized companies who are designing products in 5G, IoT, artificial intelligence, smart cities, wearable devices, and multimedia utilizing Qualcomm’s mobile platforms and technologies.
A short list of 10 companies among the applicants in the challenge were given financial benefits and invited for months of technical and business incubation. Top three companies were recognised and received prizes of 100.000 USD, 75.000 USD and 50.000 USD as well as post-Challenge support from Qualcomm Technologies.
However, the issue that tech startups are facing should be solved in the longer term. Currently, Vietnam needs a lot of medium-sized enterprises to participate in the production and increase the competitiveness of industries, instead of depending on imports. Tech sector and supporting industry need specific solutions, capital funds and more training from FDI to strengthen their ability and capacity to effectively participate in the supply chain. Besides, policies to encourage FDI enterprises to increase localization are important, according to Mr. Nguyen Hoang.