Viet Nam's digital transformation expected to add US$162 billion to GDP

Saturday, May 04, 2019 08:00

Visitors at Seamless Vietnam 2018, which focused on e-commerce, retail and electronic payment. E-commerce is one of the keys that are expected to drive Viet Nam into a digital economy. — VNA/VNS Photo My Phuong

Viet Nam could enjoy an additional US$162 billion to GDP in the next 20 years if the country succeeds in its digital transformation, said Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Vu Dai Thang.

Thang was referring to research conducted by Australia’s Data 61 at a conference held in Ha Noi on Thursday, saying the digital economy had been rapidly growing and was having an impact on socio-economic life around the world.

Viet Nam’s GDP currently stands at $223.9 billion. He cited Google and Singaporean sovereign fund Temasek as saying the country’s digital economy was worth $9 billion last year and was expected to reach $30 billion by 2025.

The digital economy had grown with new technologies such as blockchain, digital platforms, social media, e-business, e-commerce and precision agriculture, along with businesses in related areas.

However, Viet Nam had faced many emerging problems such as an incomplete legal framework, cyber security, a shortage of high quality ICT personnel, and IT application in building e-government.

Thang gave four major policies for digital economic development in Viet Nam, including the building of an institutional foundation for digital economic models, and the reform of regulations to attract digital technology investment in adventurous investment areas.

He stressed the need to develop connectivity infrastructure and encourage businesses to develop 5G services as well as national databases.

The Deputy Minister expressed his hope that enterprises would seek measures to apply digital technology, implement digital transformation and engage in the construction of fundamental factors for the digital economy.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Planning and Investment was working on a national strategy to capitalise on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) to enable businesses to take advantage of opportunities presented by digitisation, he added.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Hung said the ministry had been assigned by the Government to build a roadmap for the country’s digitisation.

Hung said the plan proposed having 50 per cent of firms working digitally by 2025 and the digital economy then accounting for 20 per cent of the country’s GDP.

It also sets a target for the Government of having at least 80 per cent of its interactions with the public and businesses carried out digitally by 2025.

Phan Duc Hieu, deputy director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), said that in Industry 4.0, slow or rapid departure was not a problem, because this race was not like a human-powered marathon.

“With Industry 4.0, creativity on the internet platform, slow or fast is not a big deal,” he said.

Hieu emphasised the institutional environment that facilitated businesses to boost creativity was the most important thing. Many business models had no concept of borders and territories, which would have to change accordingly.

He added that at the upcoming revision of the Enterprise Law, some conditions such as market entry would be simplified. Accordingly, enterprises would only need to go through a single window to complete procedures. General Director of Microsoft Viet Nam Pham The Truong said the development of the digital economy goes with challenges, especially in private information safety.

He underscored that the Government should apply solutions to ensure safety for people in the digital economy amidst increasing challenges.

Brian Hull, general director of ABB Viet Nam, suggested the Government should promote the digital economy in all economic sectors as well as technological application at small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The Government should also ensure network security. It should provide big ideas and projects using the most modern technologies and infrastructure for others to follow.

In the past 10 years, Viet Nam’s digital economy has developed in both infrastructure and business market. It grew by over 25 per cent last year and the country could sustain this rate for the next two or three years, according to the Viet Nam E-Commerce Association. — VNS

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