Asia: Vietnam has potential to go high-tech, investors looking to hydroponics

A large portion of the Vietnamese economy is centered on agriculture, both in terms of the money generated as well as the number of people employed. But a contingent of businessmen, backed by the Vietnamese government, is seeking to take the agricultural industry to new technological heights with the help of Dutch engineering and investment.

“The potential for growth in the agricultural industry in Vietnam is great,” said Nguyen Quang Phong, a member of the Vietnamese Green Growth Program. He noted that agriculture plays a big part in the Vietnamese economy, both in its contribution to GDP and in the number of people it employs But the program he's working on seeks to upgrade the sector with large investments in technology. The Green Growth Program's mission is to promote sustainable, green, organic growth, and part of that involves turning to a country that has a vast warehouse of technology and experience on the subject: the Netherlands.

“We have successfully tested hydroponic growing techniques in Vietnam,” said Phong. “So the focus now is to bring the Dutch hydroponic systems here, and that means looking for suppliers of equipment and growing techniques from the Netherlands.” Though he's working on a government initiative, Phong's mission involves generating interest from the private sector to drive Vietnam's push into high-tech growing. Interest in Vietnam, at least from an investment standpoint is high, noted Phong, as investors who have soured on real estate investments, which were previously popular, are looking to other areas. With a large agricultural segment with much potential, investors are now looking for expertise.

“Investors don't know a lot about new technologies, but they know there's much potential there,” said Phong. “So we want to form a consortium of several entities that can cover everything throughout the supply chain – everything from seeds and young plant propagation all the way to packaging and marketing.” Phong, who is based in the Netherlands, is optimistic a country with such a history of horticultural can help, and he's actively seeking Dutch suppliers of technologies, materials and investments. For those interested, he noted that the Vietnamese government has made an effort to make the program work.

“The Vietnamese government has proposed setting aside 250,000 hectares, nationwide, for sustainable, green, organic growth,” said Phong. “We also have a large workforce that is beneficial to the enterprise.”

For more information:
S.E. Asia Trade & Investment
Mr. Nguyen Quang Phong
T +31 (0)6 491 34 878
M +31 (0)6 171 75 009


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