Fostering a culture of innovation is essential to improve productivity, including embracing technological advances in production and management, said business operation expert Nguyen Dang Tien.

Vietnam relied on its low-cost labour and material input as its competitive edge, a strategy that will falter as the country integrates into the global economy, especially with the advent of the ASEAN Economic Community and the implementation of free trade agreements this year, General Director of Le & Associate Ngo Dinh Duc told a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on March 11.

According to the General Statistics Office, Vietnam’s labour productivity has been on the rise, averaging 3.7 percent between 2005 and 2014, but remains below that of other ASEAN nations - at only one-eighteenth of Singapore’s, one-sixth of Malaysia’s, and one-third of Thailand’s.

The low efficiency rate could be linked to the poor quality of the workforce, trainings and management, experts said.

The workshop was co-hosted by the Business Association of High-Quality Vietnamese Products and the Leading Business Club.-VNA