"Many of our businesses in the country are very brave and confident, but on the international negotiation, it is very timid and often pressured, not dare to put "playing cards "," said Pham Duc Nghiem, Deputy Director of National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development (NATEC) - Ministry of Science and Technology, said.



Weaknesses of Vietnamese enterprises on the negotiation from the kitchen equipment supplier for Sheraton and InterContinental

"When negotiating with Canadian or European-American partners, I honestly feel that I am much weaker than them," said Nguyen Ngoc Dai - Sales Director of Ha Yen Joint Stock Company.

Ha Yen has been operating and doing business for 25 years in the field of industrial kitchen equipment in Vietnam. Products of Ha Yen have been present throughout the territory of Vietnam, from major hotels of the Sheraton system, InterContinental, Vinpearl resorts, hotels of Accor Group, hotel systems of Saigon Tourist Corporation spread from North to South, at the same time exported abroad with the main export market is Japan.

The company has recently signed a large contract with Canadian partners, and has the potential to sign a contract with the US partners, paving the way for Vietnamese kitchen appliances to enter the most demanding market globally.

Comparing Canadian, American, and Japanese customers, representative of Ha Yen said that if Japanese enterprises are like "big brothers", they do everything slowly but stradily, Canadian businesses are very fair at work. As for the negotiation, Mr. Dai confessed that Vietnamese enterprises were much weaker.

"The experience gained from studying and experiencing during the last ten years of working feel that it is still not enough to create an advantage in negotiating a contract with Canadian partners. After gathering more knowledge and have more consulting, we managed to make up some of the losses, but basically the contracts signed with European and American partners put us in a disadvantage to them, "Mr. Dai said.

"Feeling weak" is one of the weaknesses of Vietnamese enterprises, according to Mr. Pham Duc Nghiem, Deputy Director of National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development (NATEC), Ministry of Science and Technology.

"Our business in the country is very brave and confident, but on the table of international negotiations they are often very timid and often pressured, do not dare to “put the foot down” with other parties, said Mr. Nghiem, also Director of Vietnamese Innovation Climate Center (VCIC), added.

"In the process of working with businesses, we found that even very large enterprises in Vietnam did not know how to build international standardised documents to negotiate and invite international businesses. Lack of cultural knowledge, alongside with language barriers, they are often not confident in the negotiation process, resulting in unsatisfactory and unequal contracts, which can lead to disputes in the future.".

Finding a solution to overcome "weakness" of Vietnamese enterprises



Mr. Nghiem said that he is receiving "responsibility" from the Ministry of Science and Technology in building a system of capable experts and consultants in order to help businesses to build effective dossiers and advise enterprises on good negotiation methods with foreign partners.

In addition, support businesses to directly try to negotiate a number of specific deals, thereby improving the capacity of the business.

"We have organized many forums, invited international experts and have domestic firms to pitch their ideas in front of them. Experts will give suggestions on how to raise capital and how to negotiate with foreign partners as well as equipping sufficient knowledge for Vietnamese enterprises to enter the international market more calmly and firmly", Mr. Nghiem answered to Tri Thuc Tre.

VCIC also introduced the VCIC CONNECT Program "Technology transfer, investment promotion and international market connection" to support Vietnamese businesses connecting to global value chains to find and transfer technology, attract investment and expand markets.

The program is a bridge for businesses to access and connect with international partners on technology transfer, trade and investment to seek opportunities for business cooperation, market development, and attracting  investment according to business needs. The potential markets that VCIC targets are Australia and South Korea, two countries with strong technological advantages as well as extensive economic cooperation with Vietnam.

Regarding connection technology transfer, Mr. Nghiem compares it to two men, one have money to invest and one with technology to be invested in, who needs each other but their paths have yet to cross. Regarding trade support activities, VCIC has successfully brought some goods of businesses into the European market. While domestic enterprises struggled with Global Gap and other international standards to no avail, VCIC solved the problem in a different way.

"The solution is not to go in the traditional direction, but find partners who have technology, financial platforms and distribution systems. Selecting partners is of most important, so as evaluating, assessing and selecting good and reputable partners, combining the plan and “lay down the cards” in order to be fair and equal is the key point that the program focuses on, "said Mr. Nghiem.

In order to succeed in the integration process, Deputy Director of National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development (NATEC) said that it is necessary to change from the inside, not to passively impact from the outside. Each Vietnamese enterprise that wants to succeed in connecting the international market must have a good development and competition strategy, especially to improve the capacity of human resources, products, scientific and technological force.

In the current context, in order to be competitive, businesses must pay special attention to technology - it is the core value for businesses to compete and make a difference when integrating. At the same time, businesses also need to constantly learn and research partners to know what they need and want before meeting, connecting and negotiating.

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