Google interested in Vietnam’s startup scene: CEO Pichai

By Anh Vu, Thanh Nien News

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Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (L) hosts Google CEO Sundar Pichai during a meeting in Hanoi on December 22, 2015. Photo: Vietnam News Agency
Google will help train about 1,400 IT engineers in Vietnam to develop the industry and help local companies approach international markets through e-commerce, CEO of the tech giant said Tuesday.
Sundar Pichai was speaking at a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung during his Vietnam visit. He said the country would soon become one of his company's most important markets. 
Dung told Pichai that as Vietnam deepens its international integration, the government creates favorable conditions for international tech and IT corporations to expand. 
Pichai, who became Google’s CEO in August, also urged the local startup community to “think bigger” and “launch something global.”
"I think it's just a matter of time, and I think many of you are already working on something like that," he addressed industry members in a speech on Tuesday afternoon.
He said he did not see any reason why Vietnam would not be successful globally, given the size of the local market, its high Internet usage and a strong entrepreneurial culture.
Pichai said Vietnamese startups can learn from those in India that started locally, and "once they get the strength they can take it outside." 
He also had an earlier chat with Nguyen Ha Dong, the Vietnamese man behind the Flappy Bird phenomenon, at a sidewalk tea shop in Hanoi the same day. He said the short chat made him realize that the country already has an Internet economy.
 Google CEO Sundar Pichai has a chat with Flappy Bird's father Nguyen Ha Dong at a pavement in Hanoi on December 22, 2015. Photo: Q.A.
“It will easily be in the top 10 countries for many companies and people who are building products. I think you’re in the process of that transition,” he said “The transition is under way, just give it a bit more patience.”
Around 52 percent of Vietnam's 93 million people use the Internet and the country has 128 million mobile phone subscribers, according to recent figures.

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