The labor-cost advantage of developing countries in Asia is challenged by increased use of digital automation and robots known also as Industry 4.0.
Particularly those countries whose development model depends on export-led, low technology, low wage manufacturing industries may thus face the phenomena of jobless growth or even de-employment in the form of automation or even reshoring of employment to the previous importing countries thus reversing the direction of the current global value chains.
In Vietnam, this development is particularly relevant to the garment, footwear and electronics sectors which provide employment to about 3.5 million people and have a considerable growth potential. There is a common understanding that Vietnam has to upscale technology levels in these industries to increase productivity in order to remain competitive with its neighbors and explore the benefits and potentials of Industry 4.0.
The debate on the industrial revolution 4.0 in Vietnam is in a beginning stage, broad and diverse. This publication aims to investigate the discourse revolving around the concept of Industry 4.0 in Vietnam. It explores the current Vietnamese perspectives and understanding of Industry 4.0 and its various areas of concern as well as first practical responses from different sectors.
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It is high time to act and re-imagine our digital future in Asia.
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