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Vietnam’s labor productivity remains low
The Saigon Times Daily
Monday,  Apr 16, 2018,22:04 (GMT+7)

Vietnam’s labor productivity remains low

The Saigon Times Daily

HCMC – Though higher labor productivity growth is recorded, Vietnam’s productivity still stays low compared to regional countries, and businesses play a part in boosting it, heard the CEO Forum 2018 in Hanoi last Friday.

Local news website VnEconomy quoted Nguyen Bich Lam, general director of the General Statistics Office (GSO), as speaking at a discussion on this topic as part of the forum that Vietnam’s labor productivity has been rising faster compared to regional countries owing to greater efforts of enterprises and the low starting point of Vietnam. Such growth of other regional countries is not as strong as Vietnam’s as they are more developed.

Despite high labor productivity growth, there remains a big gap in labor productivity between Vietnam and regional countries, according to Lam.

“We must work hard to narrow the gap. But this does not mean we can catch up with them, but should strive harder to enhance our own capacities,” Lam said.

Currently, average labor productivity in Vietnam is still lower than one-tenth of Singapore and one-fifth of Malaysia. “Our labor productivity is also lower than Laos,” he added.

However, local productivity at advanced manufacturing facilities, especially at foreign-invested ones, is approaching the global level.

Deputy general director of Samsung Vietnam Bang Hyun Woo, comparing labor productivity of Vietnam and South Korea, remarked that Vietnamese workers’ productivity is equivalent to 99% of that of workers at Samsung production facilities in other countries.

Regarding skilled personnel at Samsung factories, Woo said, the expertise and productivity of Vietnamese engineers is lower than South Korean peers. But after getting trained in one or two years, Vietnamese engineers are quite comparable to those from South Korea.

“I see potential of Vietnamese people. I do not think their productivity is low, but human resource training and management play a role,” said the Samsung Vietnam executive. He added that Vietnamese workers can increase productivity if they get a good boss.

Sharing the view, chairman of education firm Egroup Nguyen Ngoc Thuy said that it is employers that determine labor productivity of their own businesses.

Managers must take full responsibility for labor productivity at their businesses. It is essential that managers create a healthily competitive environment with fair compensation and incentives to attract and retain talent, according to Thuy.

Ha Thu Thanh, chairwoman of Deloitte Vietnam, also holds the view on high productivity potential of Vietnamese workers. However, business leaders should work towards policies concerning payments and training for their employees, as well as a creative corporate culture and good governance, she said.

Labor productivity is understandably low as production technologies, machineries and equipment are outdated, Thanh noted.

According to a survey on labor productivity attended by nearly 500 leaders of local and foreign-invested businesses, 10% think that productivity at their businesses is very high, 57% see it as high, 10% say low and no one chooses very low.

Commenting on such results, Lam of the statistics office said that they well reflect actual productivity of enterprises and conditions of the Vietnamese economy.

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