To remain competitive and take part in the global value chain, local companies, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises must invest in modern technology (Photo: nhatoidep.com)

HCM City (VNA) - The fast-growing number of foreign investors has led to an expansion of industrial manufacturing in Vietnam, especially for local production.

To remain competitive and take part in the global value chain, local companies, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), must invest in modern technology, said Tran Viet Dung, Deputy Director of VCCI Exhibition Service Ltd, at a news conference on June 22.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement together with other Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are likely to maintain Vietnam as a promising destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), he said.

According to the Foreign Investment Agency, total new investment capital and increased investment capital of foreign investors in Vietnam was worth 10.15 billion USD in the first five months of the year, an increase of 136.4 percent, he said.

The manufacturing and processing sectors attracted the largest FDI capital in the period, accounting for 65.1 percent of the country's total FDI capital, he told the press conference.

FTAs provide opportunities as well as challenges for Vietnamese firms, especially SMEs, he said, adding that with their lack of capital, technical equipment and advanced technology, many small- and medium-sized enterprises have faced competitive pressure from foreign counterparts.

It is thus ever more critical for locally based manufacturers to not only invest and upgrade their industrial technologies, but also scale up their knowledge and capabilities to improve productivity, enhance competitive advantage and move up the value chain, he said.

Trade exhibitions can help them achieve that goal because they are an effective business platform and can provide face-to-face contacts for buyers and sellers, said BT Tee, Deputy Chief, Vietnam Representative Office, Singapore Exhibition Services.

Tee said he hoped local firms would attend the MTA Vietnam 2016, the large-scale exhibition of precision engineering, machine tools and metalworking to be held in HCM City from July 5 to 8.

The 14th International Precision Engineering, Machine Tools and Metalworking Exhibition and Conference (MTA Viet Nam 2016), will feature 416 exhibitors from 24 countries and territories, with 13 international group pavilions showcasing state-of-the-art technologies and engineering solutions, he said.

Samsung will take part in the expo to find component suppliers, offering a good opportunity for Vietnamese SMEs, he said.

Conferences and seminars will be held throughout the show. Featuring an impressive line-up of speakers from local and regional organizations, the conferences will help delegates expand their knowledge, stay relevant and up-to-date with the current trends and issues facing the manufacturing industry, he said.

Dung said the mechanical engineering industry is the foundation and motivation for the development of other industrial sectors.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, currently, foreign firms hold 80 percent of the domestic mechanical engineering market, he said.

Demand for machinery and equipment is expected to remain high until 2020 and after, he added.-VNA