Vietnam is Japan's No1 software partner (Source:VNA)
HCM City (VNA) - Vietnamese exports of software have risen dramatically but sales in the domestic market fell during the 2011-2015 economic downturn, according to the Vietnam Software Association (VINASA).

During the period, many State offices and enterprises cut expenditures for software, and policies related to purchasing and hiring restricted development of the industry.

Software exports and the IT service market reached an annual growth of 30-40 percent, especially in the Japanese market.

Vietnam is Japan’s No 1 software partner, with a high number of orders and increased value.

In addition, the US and the EU market maintained growth at 20-30 percent each year.

In the past five years, the country’s IT industry managed to maintain a growth rate of 10-15 percent each year, despite the recession.

Revenue from the software sector increased from 1 billion USD to 1.6 billion USD in 2015.

The revenue of the IT industry in general increased from 2 billion USD to 3 billion USD in 2015. The proportion of Vietnamese value content of turnover was high, at 90-95 percent.

Human resources within the industry also grew steadily at 10 percent each year, reaching about 200,000 people at present.

“For the time ahead, VINASA aims to become a pioneer in connecting industries and regions, and applying and developing technologies and start-ups,” chairman of VINASA Truong Gia Binh was quoted as saying in the Thoi bao Kinh Te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times) newspaper.

“The association will try to support small- and medium-sized firms in their development, while big firms can become global ones, thus contributing to the country’s development,” he added.

Over the last five years, the international competitive capability of Vietnamese software and IT services was firmly established.

According to a report from Gartner - an IT research and advisory company, in 2014 Vietnam was listed as one of the world’s top 10 nations for software processing.

During the 2010-15 period, Hanoi and HCM City were listed in the top 100 cities in the world for software processing.

Since 2013, Vietnam has been Japan’s second-largest partner in software processing, followed by China.

This year’s Sao Khue Awards saw strong development trends at software and IT service enterprises.

Many software and IT products reached growth of 100 percent in turnover, while others saw 300-400 percent, and several small companies 500 percent.

The top 10 enterprises at this year’s Sao Khue Awards recorded turnover of 240 million USD, 17 percent of the industry’s total turnover.

According to a VINASA report, software and IT service enterprises developed in number, size, professional skill and corporate governance.

More enterprises employ 200-500 and even up to 1,000 or more software programmers.

Enterprises doing business with Japanese partners have seen strong growth, some up to 100 percent.

However, VINASA’s report also revealed that most Vietnamese enterprises were small- and medium-sized. Therefore, research and development was limited and they could not make creative products and services.

Human resources are also seriously lacking. From now to 2020, the market is expected to need 400,000 software programmers, but the education system can only provide 250,000 trained graduates.

Many of them have poor professional skills and limited foreign language ability.-VNA