Government data critical for businesses

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 08:10

Delegates discuss open data and e-governance readiness at a roundtable held by the World Bank and VCCI in HCM City on January 23. — VNS

Though Viet Nam has made great strides in streamlining administrative procedures and developing e-governance, more needs to be done to enable businesses and the public to access information from the Government, a roundtable heard in HCM City on Tuesday.

Tran Ngoc Liem, deputy director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s HCM City office, said businesses need many kinds of information such as domestic and global markets and the output of certain sectors, but they find it hard to get it.

This is valuable information that helps businesses analyse their investment and trading opportunities, Liem said.

He said the World Bank had an open data for business tool and hoped its working group would suggest recommendations and support Viet Nam’s efforts to successfully establish a digital government and open data.

Open data is freely available online for anyone to use and reproduce. While social media, companies and non-government organisations (NGOs) can all be sources of open data, the most widely used data comes from governments and government-supported institutions.

Using open data would offer benefits like more efficient public administration, economic growth in the private sector and social welfare.

Alla Morrison, innovation data programme coordinator at the World Bank, said businesses can use open data “as a source of information for research and decision making, and as new material to create new data-driven products, services and application platforms”.

Many countries have developed open data and reaped its benefits, she said.

The most widely quoted is a study by McKinsey Global Institute, which estimated that open data (from government and non-government sources) could create US$3-5 trillion annually in economic value worldwide in the seven sectors of education, transportation, consumer products, electricity, oil and gas, healthcare and consumer services.

Open data can give potential investors essential information they need about a country’s governance, infrastructure and resources.

Investors may be interested in data about a country’s census statistics, workforce skills, tariffs, land or the national infrastructure.

It can help launch new businesses, make existing businesses more efficient and profitable, increase employment and attract foreign investment, according to the World Bank.

The bank’s international experts are working with local partners to collect information about the reality and Viet Nam’s readiness level with respect to open data and digital government.

At the Roundtable on Open Data and Digital Government Readiness Assessment yesterday, delegates, including businesses leaders, representatives of business groups and others, were divided into groups to discuss how their organisations use data, the current or potential barriers to data access and use and other issues.

In spring this year, the World Bank will offer Viet Nam a roadmap and recommendations on developing open data. — VNS

Comments (0)