Vietnam’s printing industry: Opportunities & challenges

15:35 | 06/05/2019 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Vietnam’s packaging and label-printing industry requires a strategic shift to improve competitiveness in the context of international integration and growing digital technology.

opportunities challenges

Printing businesses need to improve technology if they are to survive competition and attract customers in the context of international integration

Seven percent growth

The rapid growth of the processing, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs and electronics industries has stimulated the development of the domestic packaging and label printing industry. According to the Vietnam Printing Association (VPA), packaging and label-printing has reached a stable growth rate of more than seven percent a year, and hundreds of foreign businesses have invested a growing amount of capital in the domestic printing industry.

VPA Chairman Nguyen Van Dong told Vietnam Economic News that Vietnam’s printing industry has new development opportunities, as the world printing market’s hub is moving to Asia and Vietnam has become a good choice for foreign investors. Vietnam has an open economy and many free trade agreements (FTAs), which offer various development opportunities for the printing industry.

Quality improvement needed

Dong says Vietnam’s printing industry, especially the packaging and label-printing segment is facing many challenges, including its weak access to foreign markets and modest product quality. Most producers of high quality, international standard products are foreign enterprises.

Dong attributes the problem partially to shortages of qualified human resources. In recent years, foreign businesses have come to Vietnam, bringing skilled workers or hiring Vietnamese workers after giving them some training, and they have made full use of advanced machinery and equipment, he said.

Although they own advanced machinery and equipment, Vietnamese enterprises have not fully exploited that equipment, and therefore their products are not competitive in foreign markets, Dong said. The imposition of import tax on machinery and equipment that cannot be produced domestically is unreasonable, while regulations on establishing printing enterprises remain flawed, he said.

Nguyen Thai Dung, a research, development and training expert from the Huynh Anh Khoa Co., Ltd. said domestic printing firms should reach international production standards, management and products if they are to survive competition and attract customers inside and outside Vietnam. Trained workers and technological investment are crucial to reach those goals, Dung said.

Technology and manpower development are the biggest challenges for the Vietnamese printing industry.

Quynh Hoang