Smiles and Growth

I had the first surprise to Ho Chi Minh City, the salesman at the smile market, and “Thank you” when I got to watch but did not buy items. I remember right to Hanoi where I lived. If the market, the shop at the beginning of the day, people are quite careful because if only touched without buying “open goods” can be scolded, even being “swearing”.

There are many shops, if selected for a long time without buying anything, you often come across the unhappy words of the seller type: “Buy anything long”, or “not buy, go do not be a riddle anymore”. There are many food items, customers wait long and do not dare to prompt because they can sneeze. Once, you go along with my team to ask “How long is my brother?” When I don’t see the food, the staffs are cold: “I can’t wait to go. But let me stick to that which is Hanoi more than a dozen years ago, I think now the quality of service was quite over.

It was my first time in HCMC over 20 years ago at the invitation of a university after reaching the top 1% of the world at the TOEFL test. I have a lot of unforgettable impressions about this dynamic city, especially the quality of service is very high. If you’re into the restaurant, the serving person often finds a way to change the towel, pouring in promptly without you having to signal. From hugging car, taxi to the roadside retail store, the seller is always blooming, respectful of guests. I am even more impressed with the professional working environment here. Until now, many friends I do business always comment on the quality of service and business environment in the city south still heads the country. Many people from the north moved completely into HCMC to live and work. “The service is not in Saigon,” they say.

Data from the General Department of Statistics show that the service area is currently the most important economic sector of the Vietnam economy, accounting for more than 40% of GDP. The forced social spacing for the prevention of disease from the beginning of the year has the most impact on this industry, pulling down to more than 20% of accommodation and dining services (figures exclusively 6 months of the year). The reduced service sector also has a chain impact, pulling national growth for the lowest of the past 10 years.

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Vietnam’s economy has a small scale, but it’s very open. The growth in you will depend heavily on factors beyond our control, such as the level of recovery of the economies you are. Therefore, in the short and medium-term, I suppose to relocate the economy by exploiting a better domestic market. Specifically, there are two preference options for dealing with the new situation. One is to identify key service professions that need to focus on the development of investment resources. The two are actively seeking more dynamic measures to effectively operate the disease-era service industry.

The first direction can not be lacking the increasingly large role of e-commerce and digital services. Nearly half of Vietnam’s population has participated in e-commerce, but the majority of small and medium-sized enterprises in the economic structure, are not yet involved in the business online. The proportion of e-commerce in the retail market is only new to 5%. The Gospel is that Covid-19 has been doing skyrocketing electronic transactions. The Government recently launched the overall plan to develop the national e-commerce phase 2021-2025. But I suppose the market is in need of more concrete solutions between the parties: state, Enterprise, and banking, to take advantage and accelerate this industry. Besides, if drastically reduced costs or better, completely Internet free during the epidemic, know where will create breakthroughs for all people, businesses?

Smiles and Growth

This direction is also aligned with the idea of accelerating the spearhead of the economy is the information technology industry in the medium term. The tech sector is less affected, can even work better in the epidemic, but still, need more support policy in order to pull together the economy. One advantage of Vietnam is the young human resources, fast training, and the ability to calculate well, the software product is the direction of the future. On the other hand, a lot of the specific applications of information technology into e-commerce can apply now to promote the digital economy in the medium term. For example, farmers, sub-merchants can immediately sell their products online directly to the whole country, without even needing to pass the intermediate stitch.

With the second priority, a critical knot of the economy is the cost of logistic transportation in Vietnam that currently has more than 20% of GDP, the highest-ranking in the world, while shipping rates in economies such as the US or the Netherlands are less than 10% of GDP. The carriage of a shrimp container from HO Chi Minh City to Hanoi costs 80 million, twice the cost of transportation from Ho Chi Minh City to the U.S. and more than 5 times to Japan Just cut the shipping costs for as long as half, we’ve had quite a lot of residue for growth in the short term regardless of the epidemic.

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A plus point to help the economy go up is the fast, responsive attitude and actions of regulatory agencies. For example, recently Vietnamese fruits exported to America are stalled. The main reason is that the American quarantine specialists have not come back to Vietnam because they do not want to travel to Vietnam with international students and are afraid to qualify for unsecured isolation. I suppose that in this case, the flexible hiring of a dedicated specialist to bring those specialists to Vietnam and meet their isolation requirements is perhaps not much costly than the value we can collect from exporting fruit to the big market like America. Moreover, we also gain important benefits that are hard to make money as ensuring the supply chain is seamless, keeping the export market and customers.

Later, when I was in the United States for a time, for the first time to attend France, I had a reverse impression on my HO Chi Minh City trip. Service quality in France is inferior to the United States. Going to many places, I draw a relative sense of my own subjective feelings. It can be said, the quality of service is better and plays a more important role in the dynamic, more efficient economies. The opportunity to improve growth for the second half of this year and the next year of Vietnam will not go away if the state and business are constantly in action.

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Smiles and Growth
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