SINGAPORE Microsoft Corp. signed an agreement Monday (May 21) with the Vietnamese government designed to reduce the use of pirated software in the country as it gears up to attract more technology investments.
Under the pact signed by Microsoft and Vietnam's Ministry of Post and Telematics, Vietnamese authorities will mandate the use of licensed software at government agencies. The deals will also see Microsoft solutions installed at multiple government departments and educational institutions nationwide.
The two sides said in a statement that by demonstrating the government's determination to protect intellectual property rights the agreement would provide a significant boost for the local tech sector.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who attended the signing ceremony with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, said Vietnam would enjoy a "prosperous future," with its leaders "doing the right things by looking now at how it can foster a healthy local software ecosystem."
According to the Business Software Alliance, almost 90 percent of the software used in Vietnam is pirated, compared to a regional average of around 55 percent.
The industry group's Asia vice president, Jeffrey Hardee, said in a statement that the alliance with Microsoft would "significantly" reduce Vietnam's piracy rate and showed that it is serious about tightening IP enforcement.
The government has made development of the high-tech industry in a bid to integrate itself into the global economy. Intel, Matsushita and Renesas Technology are among the manufacturers that have recently announced plans to expand their Vietnam operations.