Taiwanese companies leverage AI to boost Vietnamese manufacturing

The following article appeared in the December issue of Taiwan Business TOPICS, the magazine of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan. 

Taiwanese entrepreneurs had been exploring opportunities in Vietnam long before discussions about a “China Plus One” strategy of minimof Commerce in Taiwan izing supply chain dependency on China by diversifying sourcing emerged among Western companies. By 2013, Taiwanese investment in the country had peaked at more than US$1.7 billion, with the vast majority of capital concentrated in the manufacturing sector.

With 80% of the roughly 4,000 Taiwanese companies in Vietnam engaged in manufacturing in 2022, the sector remains the driving force of the relationship. In recent years, however, companies have started shifting their focus toward leveraging cutting-edge Taiwanese tech to aid Vietnam in industrial transformation.

“A lot of manufacturers have gone to Vietnam thinking about China in the ’90s – cheap labor and how they can use this,” says Jerry Huang, cofounder and CEO of Profet AI, a Taiwanese company that provides artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) solutions to the manufacturing industry. “But that’s not what the Vietnamese government wants. They want to be advanced and move up the value chain.”

Profet AI and like-minded companies are establishing a “different version of the traditional model” that is helping countries such as Vietnam upgrade and achieve their development goals. “This is a role that Taiwan is uniquely able to perform,” Huang says.

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