Reed Tradex, ASEAN’s leading exhibition organiser, has held Vietnam’s International Machine Tool and Metalworking Technology Trade Exhibition and Conference (Metalex Vietnam) for five consecutive years since 2007.
>> October’s Metalex Vietnam to show innovations, Titan the robot
>> Machinery and manufacturing expos open
VIR talks with Reed Tradex’s managing director Chainarong Limpkittisin about his company’s business strategy and plans as well as recommendations for Vietnam’s supporting industries.
Why did Reed Tradex choose Vietnam for its five consecutive expos on metalworking and manufacturing technologies?
I think in ASEAN Vietnam is one of the countries that have a lot of potential. So I think clearly Vietnam and Indonesia are future countries that a lot of industries will pour their money to invest and to cultivate for the future. Your 90 million people have been regarded as very active and very young people that have a lot of potential to develop their living level. This is one of the attractions that attract a lot of investors here. I also think that Vietnam has a lot of resources that can make the country grow in the future. You have oil and gas, a lot of food, and mineral that I think is the foundation of development. And I think with the friendliness of the people here when people come to invest, they love to be with Vietnamese people because living here is a nice place to stay.
Titan the Robot has really enlivened the atmosphere of this year’s exhibition, drawing large crowds of visitors. Do you think Titan’s first-time appearance has somehow contributed to the success of this year’s show?
I believe so. If you go to see the performance in each round, there are hundreds of people just around the Titan to take photos. I believe that in Facebook or Twitter there are a lot of talks about the Titan. But we are not only glad to receive that crowd. We are glad that they have a chance to come to visit our show to update themselves on new technologies to get more knowledge. Furthermore I think they can help network with the Department of Export Promotion people or with their potential suppliers or partners. I think that point is more important for the Vietnamese in the long run.
What major agreements or contracts have been signed during this exhibition?
It has not come to a conclusion yet but if you go inside may see a lot of “SOLD” signs that are put on the machines. Yesterday we got very good feedback from a lot of exhibitors and many of them already signed the contract for next year, especially the pavilions that participate in this year. We’ve got double size of the space taken by Taiwan for next year. Korea also booked a space with us two times bigger compared to this year. We also have bookings for space from China and Japan. We are in the process to talk with big companies here. So by the feedback from what they come to book the space with us they are really happy with the results of the business that they did yesterday. But as I saw today, I think today the number of visitors is much more than yesterday. So I believe that they are going to be much happier than yesterday.
What do you think Vietnam should do to further develop its supporting and manufacturing industries?
I think Vietnamese manufacturers need to upgrade three factors. First they have to have sufficient technology to support their production. I mean “sufficient” means they have to produce in a good quality, in time, and in competitive costs. It’s very easy to talk about this but it’s very difficult to make it really happen. When I talk to foreign investors that invest here and they want to have a supplier to produce more part supply for their factory here it’s quite hard for them to justify the good local suppliers.
Because when they went to see their factory, they did not see the good machine. So that made them unconfident about the quality of the product that they may receive in the future. So I think technology or machine is one of the key factors Vietnamese manufacturers need to consider. By doing that they have to invest money and your government has to have an organisation to support low-interest funding and provide some incentives.
For example, tax exemption should be given for people that invest in machine or new facilities or new factories, something like this. This has to be in a government project to elevate the whole industry. But everything needs to rely on people. The government also has to have a good campaign to help the manufacturers to upgrade people’s skills. So training and scholarship process is some institution that they need to establish for supporting industry’s skilled workers.
Metalex will return to Vietnam next year. Can you share a little bit more about next year’s event?
Our show this year expands over 25 per cent already compared to last year’s. We expect 25 per cent more for next year. By the feedback that we got from the partners one and a half day we are quite confident that we will achieve that target. But growing the size of our show is not our main objective. We want to bring more technology and benefit to Vietnamese manufacturers. Next year we hope that we are going to have much more machine, technology and content that will benefit Vietnam.