Singaporean firms keen to partner with local enterprises on digital transformation
With Vietnam possessing huge potential for development amid a strong digital transformation process, Singaporean technology firms are increasingly viewing the Vietnamese market as a key area for growth.
Alexander Gold, chairman of Singaporean fintech company Bankograph Pte Limited, shares that Vietnam is regarded as an important strategic market in which to develop cross-border financial supply chains that are capable of connecting Southeast Asia with the rest of the world.
With plenty of opportunities available to enter markets such as the Philippines, India, and Malaysia, Bankograph prioritises Vietnam as the first market in which to expand its operations into, he adds.
After conducting an evaluation and comparison of Bankograph growth models across different developing markets, it can be seen that the nation stands out as a top destination for foreign financiers, not just in the financial sector, but also in a range of other fields. Bankograph is therefore committed to helping the country become a launch pad for the firm’s various subsidiaries in the Asia-Pacific region, Gold underlines.
Furthermore, other fintech company from Singapore such as Finaxar have also partnered with INDOVINA Bank Vietnam in an effort to provide a suitable financial assistance solution for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) based in Southeast Asia.
According to Finaxar, up to 60% of all Vietnamese SMEs, who also account for more than 96% of all enterprises, have difficulty accessing working capital sources.
The financial solution that Finaxar and its partners provides is to offer online and automatic operations in both a convenient and suitable way within a credit limit of VND500 million.
Upon analysing the potential of the Vietnamese market, Le Ngoc Hai, CEO of Doctor Anywhere Vietnam, an online healthcare application from Singapore, concludes that an ideal population demographic, combined with the growth of macroeconomics, the speed of digital transformation, and many technological talents, are all viewed as attractive factors for regional technology companies.
"Vietnam is the first foreign market in which Doctor Anywhere has decided to expand its investment in 2019. Although online medical examination and treatment, known as telehealth is a new field, we see that demand is increasing in Vietnam. In the future, Vietnam will become a key market for Doctor Anywhere in Southeast Asia,” says Hai.
In March, Doctor Anywhere raised US$27 million in a Series B fundraising round for the purpose of using this new capital inflow to invest in human resources, as well as services locally. This will be done to provide optimal health care at affordable prices for Vietnamese people, he adds.
The recent wave of Singaporean businesses investing in the country has received encouragement and support from the Government. Milestones include Enterprise Singapore, a government agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore, whose role is to support the development of Singapore, officially announcing in 2019 the expansion of the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) in the nation.
The alliance has been expanded in order to connect technology start-ups from Singapore to the innovation market locally, as well as promoting co-operation ties between the two countries. In addition, the move creates a wide range of exchanges among students, including internship opportunities for students from Singapore at start-ups and businesses domestically.
Upon discussing the GIA launch ceremony, Png Cheong Boon, CEO of Enterprise Singapore emphasises that Enterprise Singapore incentivises Vietnamese start-ups to take full advantage of the innovative startup ecosystem. Through this they can make progress to connect with multinational corporations and Asia's leading businesses, most of whom are headquartered in the island city-state, to expand their business activities.
Simultaneously, Bankograph is planning to invest in processing infrastructure facilities within the country and is committed to increasing capital whilst co-operating alongside Vietnamese partners to boost comprehensive financial development with efficient consumer credit products at good prices.
With this added investment, Gold voices his hope that the introduction of a Variable Capital Company structure will be an effective tax solution for foreign investors, increasing the number of Singaporean fintech companies who will see the nation as a leading investment market with unique risk premiums compared to other regional markets.
This increased level of co-operation will allow Vietnamese companies and financial institutions to benefit from their partnership with Singaporean fintech company due to the "lion island nation" continuing to secure its standing as an international commercial and financial hub.
The joint efforts of businesses from the two countries promises to create a unique cross-border ecosystem within the financial sector, along with the wider technology sector.
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