PROJECTS ON THE MAP
hot spot is growing by
leaps and bounds—
but an improvised
approach to project
hold it back.
BY SARAH FISTER GALE
Vietnam has growing pains. Asia’s newest manufacturing powerhouse boasts the world’s ninth-fastest-growing economy, as an increasing number of manu- facturers such as Samsung and Nike set up shop in the country. But here’s a problem: Vietnam’s ailing infrastructure can’t support the
rapid transformation. If it hopes to sustain growth between now and 2020, the
country needs an estimated US$200 billion to build new roads, bridges, ports,
power plants and other infrastructure, according to the United States Agency
for International Development.
;e infrastructure gap creates major project opportunities and challenges as
Vietnam’s government struggles to meet the demands of its nearly 91 million
residents and a growing roster of manufacturers. Vietnam’s government, foreign governments, global banks and private-sector organizations are pledging to
fund infrastructure projects, but ;nancing is only half the battle.
Vietnamese organizations must mature their project management practices
to ensure the country’s economy—and project environment—reaches the
next level, says Phuc Dinh Cong, PMP, project engineer, Turner Construction, Hanoi, Vietnam. Organizations must attract and groom project talent to
e;ectively navigate new regulations, mitigate risks and clear a massive project
backlog, he says. Right now, project management tends to be improvised.
“Infrastructure is a bottleneck of the Vietnam economy,” Mr. Cong says.
“Almost all projects are late, they’re double or triple the original cost and a few
are having quality issues. Advanced project management will help resolve this.”
THE WORLD’S NEW FACTORY
Lured by the country’s cheap labor, stable government and ;nancial incentives,
global organizations such as Intel, Nissan and Bridgestone have built factories