Forum seeks to elevate France-Việt Nam technology ties

May 29, 2024 - 14:27
There remains ample untapped potential for Việt Nam and France to further enhance co-operation in the field of technology, a forum heard in HCM City on May 28.
Delegates experience beauty tech at the first Forum of Technologies held by La FrenchTech Vietnam in HCM City on May 28. — Photo courtesy of L'Oréal Việt Nam

HCM CITY — There remains ample untapped potential for Việt Nam and France to further enhance co-operation in the field of technology, a forum heard in HCM City on May 28.

Speaking at the newly instituted Forum of Technologies (FORTEC) held by La FrenchTech Vietnam, Pierre Martin, deputy economic counsellor at the French Embassy in Việt Nam, said the two nations share a long history of diplomatic and economic relations that have, over the years, evolved to include innovation and technology, areas crucial to their future prosperity.

“Việt Nam’s tech sector has seen explosive growth, driven by a young, energetic workforce and a supportive government.

“France continues to be a global leader in technology and innovation, with a rich ecosystem that fosters entrepreneurial spirit and creativity.”

He said La French Tech, a global initiative launched by his government in 2013, has been instrumental in promoting and supporting French start-ups globally.

“French venture capital firms and investors are increasingly looking to Việt Nam, recognising the potential of its burgeoning start-up ecosystem. There is a growing interest among French banks in investing in [Vietnamese] start-ups.”

He said French giant Schneider Electric has invested in Vietnamese electric mobility startup Selex.

This kind of financial support is complemented by mentorship and strategic guidance, helping Vietnamese start-ups navigate the complexities of growth and international expansion.

Other private companies such as defense contractor Thales are also interested in incubating Vietnamese cybersecurity startups and accelerate their development, and more French companies operating in Việt Nam could be interested in doing so, he said.

“We are ready to share our experience in terms of institutional governance of innovation with whatever Vietnamese actor could be interested: whether the Vietnam National Innovation Centre in Hà Nội or the Saigon High Tech Park here in HCM City.”

Hạnh Mai, president of French Tech Vietnam, said the inaugural edition of FORTEC is a groundbreaking technology forum dedicated to fostering innovation and collaboration.

It aims to provide a platform for tech enthusiasts, startups and corporates to showcase their innovations, engage in discussions and network with industry leaders, investors and peers.

The event covers key areas such as artificial intelligence, greentech, digital health, edtech, and Industry 4.0.

Other speakers shared their insights into the technology industry and took part in interactive sessions on current tech trends.

Sharing about the future of beautytech, Benjamin Rachow, country managing director of L'Oréal Vietnam, a French multinational personal care company, said: “Tech is helping us form stronger a relationship with our consumers, understand them better, and astonish them with trailblazing innovation.”

For instance, the Maybelline and Teams virtual make-up app allow Microsoft Team users worldwide to add colour to their virtual meetings to enhance their onscreen appearance, he said.

“Beauty tech is allowing us to invent the future of beauty and bring new products, services and experiences to the market, which tackles the biggest tensions facing consumers today.”

The forum also included a Startup Showcase to introduce groundbreaking solutions from emerging startups, a networking programme that helps startups build valuable connections with professionals and investors, and P!TCH Competition, where startups could present their visionary ideas in a pitch competition. — VNS