IBM opened a new technology center and announced two research pacts with universities in Vietnam on Friday, saying it sees promise in the developing nation.
IBM's first Innovation Center in the Vietnam aims to help local developers create new technologies for digital infrastructure projects in banking, telecommunications, energy and government, the company said in a statement. It will offer training workshops, consulting services and assistance to researchers working to bring new technologies to market.
There are incredible opportunities in information in Vietnam as the country embraces technology in its transformation from an agricultural to an industrial nation, IBM said.
Vietnam last week unveiled a US$8 billion government stimulus package, most of which is targeted at infrastructure and development projects.
The new innovation center is located in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon.
Technology multinationals often build such technology centers in developing countries to encourage local innovators to create software using their developer kits and attract business from governments and local companies.
IBM runs 43 Innovation centers worldwide.
IBM said it will also launch the first Vietnamese language version of IBM developerWorks, a part of its Web site that provides resources to software developers and other IT professionals.
The company signed two agreements to work with Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi on separate technology projects. In Ho Chi Minh City, IBM will work with academics to establish a new university cloud computing center and cloud curriculum, while in Hanoi, IBM will help with the establishment of a new department aimed at improving various segments of the services industry called service science management and engineering.
The initiatives are partly a "response to accelerated IT growth in Vietnam," IBM said. Internet use is already widespread and continues to increase in Vietnam, IBM said, while the country's IT sector has grown at 20 percent annually in recent years.
There were nearly 21.2 million Internet users in Vietnam at the end of April, 2009, according to the Vietnam Internet Network Information Center.