Nordic countries share lessons on going digital with Viet Nam

Friday, Feb 22, 2019 10:50

Digitisation is an essential tool for sustainable development in the Nordic region. — Photo

The Nordic model is an ideal one for Viet Nam to learn from in the process of redefining its economic and development models, Dr Vu Thanh Tu Anh, dean of the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management, told a seminar held at the school in HCM City on February 21.

Speaking at the event in celebration of the 2019 Nordic Day organised by the school and the embassies of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, he said the Government has begun to develop a socio-economic strategy for 2021-30 in which it tries to define a new economic development leaning towards innovation, inclusiveness and sustainability.

“I believe the Nordic development experience and lessons are valuable inputs for Viet Nam in its search for a new development model for many years to come.”

Viet Nam is very eager to learn from international experiences, especially Nordic countries which have always been highly regarded by its people, he said.

According to other experts at the seminar, all Nordic countries are in the process of implementing national strategies related to digitisation.

While these policies have a similar focus on digital public services, supporting growth and innovation in business and ensuring digital security, each country faces its own difficult questions and has to address them in varying ways.

Norwegian ambassador Grete Løchen said digitisation is a tool for renewal, simplification and improvement and it brings benefits but also challenges.

“Both public and private sectors will experience significant changes when it comes to governance, services, production, and distribution, which requires increased efficiency, new thinking, new qualifications, new business models, and new policies.

“As an example, the health and social care systems are in the process of being revolutionised due to digitisation. Rethinking development aid is another area. Digital solutions may contribute to improved efficiency and better outreach to people in need.”

Nordic experts provided the audience with an overview of how authorities in their countries are implementing national and regional digital strategies and which actors (public sectors, private companies, civil society) are key in the digital transformation.

With the rapid ongoing digital developments changing the way of living, doing business and delivery of public and welfare services, the speakers also shared the challenges and lessons learnt from how the whole region is changing and adapting to the digitisation process.

The Swedish ambassador, Pereric Högberg, said: “We pay a lot of attention to human capital development and the Nordic region has one of the most highly educated populations in the world. In our open and connected societies, we believe that individuals should be given opportunities to develop, take responsibility and dare to challenge prevailing norms and structures.

“Human rights apply online as they do offline. We want to create fertile ground for people to be free-thinking, tech-savvy, dynamic citizens who contribute to creativity, innovation and progress.

“Separately, the Nordic countries are small, but together we make up the 11th largest economy in the world. The Nordic Region is innovative, particularly in welfare, education, entrepreneurship, sustainability, and research. This has set a strong foundation for us to develop smart societies.

“We will continue to work closely with other countries including Viet Nam to find smart solutions to address challenges and opportunities during our digital age”.

The first seminar of its kind aimed to serve as a platform for a Vietnamese audience to discuss and draw experiences and lessons learned from the Nordic region’s digital transformation, particularly from the policy-making perspective.

All four Nordic countries were among the first in Europe to establish diplomatic ties with Viet Nam (Sweden in 1969, Denmark and Norway in 1971 and Finland in 1973).

Over the years they have remained its friends. — VNS

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