Move towards digital economy inevitable: forum

Friday, Nov 02, 2018 08:55

Tran Vinh Tuyen, deputy chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, opens the 2018 Viet Nam Digital Economy Forum. – VNS Photo Hoang Nam

Digitisation of the economy is inevitable and would help HCM City achieve sustainable development and resolve its problems like traffic jams, flooding, pollution, and climate change, a forum heard in HCM City on Thursday.

“In HCM City 80 per cent of the population owns smart phones and it has the largest number of internet users and technology companies,” Tran Vinh Tuyen, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee, said at the 2018 Viet Nam Digital Economy Forum.

Deputy Minister of Information and Telecommunications Nguyen Thanh Hung said the Government is now focusing on creating a digital economy.

"We would like to learn from international and local experts about many problems," he said.

“How can Viet Nam set up fast and effective digital infrastructure? How can we have a proper legal framework that can properly address existing and new issues like Grab and traditional taxis?

“How can we renovate education and the vocational training system to meet the demands of the digital economy? And how can we set up, manage and use common data effectively for all residents and enterprises to access for economic development?”

Vu Ngoc Anh, CEO of the Association of Vietnamese Scientist and Experts (AVSE Global), said the Fourth Industrial Revolution had been having structural impacts on the global economy and society.

"Every day millions of people benefit from innovative services offered by Uber (transportation), Airbnb (hotel business), Facebook (communication), Alibaba (retail & wholesale e-commerce), LendingClub (personal credit), Coursera (education). Digital technology is a tool to improve the productivity of firms and boost the economy of countries," he said.

“The forum aims to provide a platform for leading experts, policy makers and enterprises around the world interested in this topic.

“The objective is to share strategic visions and practical experiences of pioneers and the trend of inevitable movement towards a digital economy and evaluate current situations, challenges and opportunities related to the digital economy.

“The VDE Forum takes Viet Nam, a fast-growing economy of 93 million people, as a business case to propose specific recommendations for firms, organisations, individuals from Viet Nam and other countries interested in the Vietnamese economy.”

Nguyen Thanh Phuc, head of the information ministry’s Authority of Information Technology Application, said Viet Nam is now ranked 88 out of 193 countries in electronic governance by the United Nations, one place up from 2016.

“The national database on people, land and finance has been delayed, delaying effective electronic governance.

“Online public administrative services are designed independently and do not place the public and enterprise community at the centre.

“Integrated and database-sharing infrastructure is slow and backward.”

The Government has set a target of increasing the rate of online public administrative services from the current 7 per cent to 30 per cent by 2020, while developed nations have long exceeded 90 per cent.

Other goals include having 25 per cent of online public administrative services accepting payment online and 50 per cent of all cases related to online services being completed electronically.

“We have suggested allocating mobile IDs for everyone for signature authentication, just like enterprises using digital signatures,” Phuc said.

“To transform from electronic government to digital government, people will be at the centre, the government will be the foundation and database will be core.”

All activities of the public and enterprises would be updated and using digital public services would be made easy for them, he said.

“State staff will use accurate databases to formulate policies.”

Jariyawiroj Chawapol, Thailand country manager for Amazon Web Services, said: “In 2020 there will be 75 billion internet-connected devices at an average of 9.4 devices per person, and the future will belong to technologies that can predict services needs.”

The forum attracted 21 foreign and local experts and 300 delegates, who discussed Viet Nam’s digital economy scenario, how the digital technology affects small and medium-sized enterprises’strategic decisions, digital technology applications for improving the competitiveness of SMEs, and digital services support for SMEs.

The VDE Forum was held for the first time last year in Ha Noi and this year it was hosted by the HCM City People’s Committee and organised by AVSE Global, the HCM City Institute for Development Studies and Quang Trung Software City. — VNS

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