In recent years, the domestic construction industry has made significant strides in management skills and construction techniques, and therefore have been successful in replacing foreign contractors on large projects with high technical requirements in the domestic market.
Le Viet Hai, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Construction Contractors and Chairman of Hoa Binh Construction and Real Estate Trading Company, said local construction contractors have been able to provide high-quality construction services at cheap cost, only behind India.
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Vietnam’s construction contractors have shown competitive ability in terms of workers, building materials, design consultancy services and construction supervision, as well as project management and other services.
In addition, the country has three times more construction engineers and experts than the global average – a significant advantage - Hai said.
Vietnam has an average 9,000 construction engineers and experts per one million people against a world average of 3,000 construction engineers and experts per one million people.
More over, many countries were witnessing development in the construction market and there was high demand for construction contractors.
Hai said that the state should implement suitable strategies for local construction contractors to do business abroad and associations of the construction industry should share tasks of construction management with state offices, including ability assessment, ranking of contractors, granting of certificate and organization of awards, to gain efficiency in doing business in the global construction market.
Notably, the connection between state agencies at home and Vietnam’s representative offices abroad was important for accurate and timely information about foreign construction markets. Based on this information, local construction contractors would have opportunities to seek investment and cooperation abroad. So far, local construction contractors had not received much support on information to do business abroad.
Le Van Tuan, General Director of Vietnam Machinery Installation Corporation (Lilama), said there were many enterprise delegations from foreign countries visiting Vietnam and ambassadors of those countries had directly connected their enterprises to some Vietnamese partners to enable cooperation.
This was a particularly important factor because it would help local enterprises follow the correct route and find appropriate partners, besides ensuring time was not wasted and efficiency was high, he said.
At present, Vietnam’s representative offices in foreign countries have certain conditions to research foreign markets to determine the potential of these markets, and then provide information and support to local construction contractors.
Therefore, Vietnamese construction contractors expected to have the support of these offices when entering foreign markets and to promote international integration programs efficiently.
Hai said during negotiations of international agreements in the future, the state should pay attention to the negotiations to ensure equality in doing business between local and Vietnamese construction contractors in foreign markets.
Additionally, the local construction contractors will enjoy exemption or reduction of import tax for labor, material and construction vehicles to the foreign countries.
When doing business in foreign countries, Vietnam’s construction enterprises need support in administrative procedures, guarantee, exit and money transfer procedures. In particular, they need to ensure double taxation avoidance agreements are applied if Vietnam and the foreign country have that agreement.
Meanwhile, local construction enterprises must actively promote internationally-qualified vocational training and certification programs for construction labor that want to work overseas, including workers, engineers and experts, according to the association.
Further, the state should have suitable policies in place to encourage Vietnam’s construction enterprises specializing in one kind of construction product, including specialization in housing, hospitals, schools, industrial and infrastructure construction.
This would enable them to focus all their resources in the right place and ensure specialization to improve competitive ability in the global construction market.