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Firms must boost labour productivity

Update: February, 05/2015 - 10:00

Improving management can raise labour productivity, Nguyen Tuan Anh, director of the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality's Productivity Centre, told Hai Quan (Customs) newspaper.

What is the role of enterprises in raising labour productivity?

Enterprises play a pivotal role in the labour productivity. To do this, first the enterprises should pay attention to applying advanced science and technology while improving their own management capacity.

Vietnamese have been as successful in investing money to build enterprises or hotels as our foreign peers. However, our labour productivity is lower than in many developed countries. Therefore, it is imperative for Vietnamese enterprises to elevate their management skills and governance capacity.

In addition, the enterprises need to apply advanced technology to their production chains. Vietnamese people are intelligent and hard working, but they need to be technically trained to raise their labour productivity and efficiency.

To improve workers' efficiency, enterprises themselves should pay attention to creating a good working environment and encouraging them to raise productivity and be innovative. Other factors that are also important include advising Vietnamese enterprises to look for new and stable markets for their products.

For the immediate future, in my opinion, Vietnamese enterprises should join supply chains of major international corporations. Having stable international outlets is a good condition for enterprises to boost productivity.

People say that labour skills here as high as anywhere and that the poor management skills of employers are to be blamed for the low productivity. What's your position on that?

I can't agree more. In reality, when the same workers move to work for foreign firms, their labour productivity is highly appreciated by their peers and their employers.

Why is worker productivity low when they work for Vietnamese firms?

The answer, may be low wages, poor benefits and poor working environment. If Vietnamese enterprises offered similar conditions to those of foreign enterprises, I'm confident, our labour productivity would be totally different.

In your opinion, what is the role of salaries in raising labour productivity?

We all need money to cover our daily activities and for most of us, salaries are the main source of income. Many people complain they are always short of money to cover their daily needs. I totally support their wishes to have better salaries and benefits so that they can live without stress and feel happy with their jobs. This will help them devote their hearts and minds to raising productivity.

In short, in order to raise the worker's productivity, employers should focus on two main issues - investment in raising the employees' working skills and applying advanced technology.

Policies to raise labour productivity have been enacted, but their implementation leaves much to be desired. What do you think?

Evaluation of policies should be done periodically. Some years ago, the situation was not good, I agree. Good policies were enacted, but their implementation was carried out poorly. However, in recent years, many improvements have been recorded thanks to better management skills. Of course, it will take time as things cannot be done overnight.

Many experts are worried that Viet Nam will not be able to escape the middle-income trap if labour productivity is not improved. I can't agree more!

It is high time for us to raise labour productivity. Raising labour productivity is a primary objective in other ASEAN countries. However, the opportunities for Viet Nam to raise labour productivity are much bigger than other nations, including Singapore and Thailand, because they have already advanced to a higher stage of development - where the going gets tougher. — VNS

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