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​Expanding Kiwi software firm jumps feet first in Vietnam venture

​Expanding Kiwi software firm jumps feet first in Vietnam venture

“We see opportunities for New Zealand in health-tech, tech for financial services, banking and insurance, agri-tech, ed-tech and consumer tech sector."

Mitchell Pham - Director, Augen Software Group

Mitchell Pham - Director, Augen Software Group

New Zealand tech companies are jumping feet first into one of the world’s fastest growing and youngest markets, strengthening ties with the expanding economy of Vietnam.

That’s according to Kiwi software company Augen Software Group, who has recently opened the Kiwi Connection tech-hub in Ho Chi Minh City, with support from Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce.

As reported by Reseller News, the company are based in the city’s Quang Trung Software City which is the largest software park in Vietnam, with 16,500 people and 121 tech companies working there including IBM and HP.

With a population of around 95 million, with 60 percent of the people younger than 30 years old, Vietnam has the fastest internet growth and most number of users in the ASEAN region, while Ho Chi Minh City is widely recognised as the geographic epicentre of the region's centres of commerce and industry.

Augen director Mitchell Pham says Vietnam is hugely important to companies such as Air New Zealand with the increase in personal and business direct travel between the two countries which has already reached critical mass.

“Vietnam scores higher in science, maths and literacy compared with the United Kingdom and the US, giving the country a strong foundation for its digital edge,” he says.

“Tech giants Intel, Samsung, Apple, Google, Facebook, HP, IBM, Luxoft, and Global CyberSoft have all set up there. Vietnam is rated among Google’s top 10 growth markets.

Augen Kiwi Connection in Vietnam
Augen Kiwi Connection in Vietnam

"A total of 40 percent of all apps on Microsoft’s Apps Store globally are engineered in Vietnam.

“We see opportunities for New Zealand in health-tech, tech for financial services, banking and insurance, agri-tech, ed-tech and consumer tech sector.

"Up till now New Zealand has lacked capacity for developing innovation at home and delivering technology offerings in foreign markets.

“That’s why we established the Kiwi Connection tech hub in Ho Chi Minh City. The hub will accelerate NZ presence and engagement in Vietnam and ASEAN.”

According to Pham, other New Zealand companies utilising the hub are ShapeShifter which provides computer design systems for Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret, Adidas and Nike, Orion Health which provides healthcare software globally, and HaelthTech (Eds: correct spelling) which provides insurance software across Asia.

“Vietnam is a land of opportunity. It is a market that is growing at six per cent and has barely scratched the surface of its potential,” he adds.

“So it is no surprise that New Zealand is keen for closer relations with Vietnam.”

Going forward, Pham says Augen will be delivering tech solutions from New Zealand into the Vietnamese domestic market to meet rapidly growing consumer, commercial, agricultural, industrial and even government needs.

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