Vietnamese businesses should focus on developing their human resources to become more competitive and capitalise on the opportunities from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 2015 Vietnam HR Awards Forum heard in Ho Chi Minh City on December 8.
Luong Hoang Thai, Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Multilateral Trade Policy Department, said besides infrastructure shortcomings the country also faced limitations in terms of human resources, with labour productivity being very low.
The country needed to focus on improving labour productivity and the quality of human resources, he said.
Pham Phu Ngoc Trai, Chairman of Global Integration Business Consultants, said local firms should understand their capability to make suitable business strategies of which human resource development strategies are an inseparable part.
"More than 90 percent of multinational companies have a career development road map for their human resources, while few local companies do so," he said.
Pham Hong Hai, CEO of HSBC Vietnam, said at many local companies, owners made decisions large and small. This posed a risk, he said, asking who would manage the company if something happens to the owner.
Preparing the successor management team was very important, he said.
"HSBC focuses on diversifying its human resources, using not only local workers but also foreigners, to improve its competitiveness and meet the demands of a wide range of customers," he said.
Ngo Hung Phuong, CEO of CSC Vietnam, said: "The TPP will create huge business opportunities not only in the domestic market but also abroad, and we must invest in advance to avail the opportunities."
Investing in human resources is very important, he said.
His company's strategy focuses on sectors such as next-generation technologies, cloud computing and cyber security, with the target markets being the US, Japan and Australia.
Wilfred John Blackburn, CEO of Prudential Vietnam, shared his company's experience in developing its human resource strategy, saying it has management trainee programmes, including internal training, that provide them opportunities to work overseas.
"Each country is quite unique," he said, adding that his company applies different operational methods in each market.
Phuong said industry and academia should cooperate to improve education quality.
"There is fierce competition in attracting talent", especially in the IT sector, he said. To retain talent, apart from offering training and competitive salaries and benefits, companies would also need to offer a good working environment, he said.
The forum, which attracted more than 300 delegates, saw senior executives compare notes on the importance of management and taking advantage of a variety of talents to become more competitive amid the integration.
It was organised by HR consultancy Talentnet Corporation.