The ASEAN SME Transformation Survey says SMEs in Vietnam have made technology their top investment priority. (Photo: VNA)
 
HCM City,  (VNS/VNA) -  Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam have made technology their top investment priority to ensure growth, according to the ASEAN SME Transformation Study.

The study, conducted by Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB), EY and Dun & Bradstreet, found that close to three in five Vietnamese SMEs favour investments in technology over traditional areas such as factories or machinery as they seek growth opportunities in the digital economy.

Of them, 71 percent said they would invest in software such as mobile applications and digital marketing since these would improve customer experience and increase customer loyalty.

Hardware and infrastructure investments ranked second at 64 percent.

Harry Loh, chief executive officer, UOB Vietnam, said: “The study shows that Vietnamese SMEs recognise the important role that technology plays in helping build sustainable businesses and improving their competitiveness.

“While it is encouraging to see SMEs placing urgency on technology investments over conventional fixed asset spending to deepen their digital capabilities, SMEs must also ensure that they explore and understand the full range of digital solutions in the market to ensure the effective use of their resources.”

The majority of Vietnamese SMEs -- 86 percent -- surveyed also viewed technology as a way to improve cost management over other options such as reducing overheads and sourcing from cheaper suppliers.

SMEs in Vietnam also seek to use technology to simplify their banking needs. Almost four in five SMEs indicated a preference for online options when applying for financial products or services such as business loans.

The study also found that Vietnamese SMEs are confident of revenue growth despite global economic headwinds and challenges such as a shortage of talent.

Two in three Vietnamese SMEs expect revenue growth this year, with one in three anticipating double-digit growth.

The ASEAN SME Transformation Study was done late last year by polling 1,235 SMEs across the six largest ASEAN countries -- Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam -- to understand how they are preparing for growth and adapting to the changes ahead. — VNS/VNA