South Korean publishing and education firm VISANG Education Inc. is targeting a bigger share of the Vietnamese market with the establishment of a new independent business that will sell its programs directly to consumers. 

The leader in the reference books market for middle and high school students in Korea, VISANG is now conducting market research in preparation for the launch, industry sources said on Friday (July 24). 

“The Vietnamese market is considered a growing market with high enthusiasm for education,” an official at VISANG said. “With a long-term perspective, we are planning to establish an independent business in the Vietnamese market to develop business.”

VISANG has established a Korean e-Learning education site, and is also setting up 24 Korean smart learning classrooms at Vietnamese universities to help nurture talented Korean translators and interpreters and plans to provide job-seeking services so that such talent can be employed by Korean companies operating in Vietnam.

The company took its first step into the Vietnamese market in July last year through a joint venture with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA ), after being selected as a partner company for the Inclusive Business Solution (IBS) program initiated by the cooperative development organization. IBS is a project business that KOICA pursues in developing countries in cooperation with private enterprises to contribute to their economic growth and job creation. 

However, as the joint venture is controlled in part by KOICA, VSIANG aims to run an independent business that can sell its education programs to Vietnamese consumers. 

VISANG views the global market as a potential growth engine, along with education technology, as Korea’s education sector  is decreasing as the school-age population of six to 21 years declines. There were more than 14 million in this age group in the 1980s, but only about six million now. 

Vietnam has an education market characterized by a strong interest in education and with a high-growth potential due to its large population of almost 100 million. In addition, many Koreans work for Korean companies in Vietnam, providing another  customer base. 

Although VISANG is mostly eyeing the Vietnamese market, it is open to expanding to other Southeast Asian countries. This  might take longer than expected, however, as related plans drawn up in the first half of this year have been disrupted by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. (Reporting by Mihyung Chung)