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Ha Long City, Vietnam Public Mobile Application Helps Achieve Smart City Targets

Ha Long City, in the Quang Ninh province, deployed the Ha Long Smart app early this year as part of its smart city building and digital transformation efforts. Through the app, citizens and businesses can contact authorities to report problems, access online public services, and seek routes to departmental headquarters, tourist attractions, hotels, educational institutes and healthcare facilities. It also provides the latest news and information published by local administrations and media outlets.

Launched in February this year, the application has recorded more than 33,000 downloads and registered over 800 accounts. Contact details for health stations (from the grassroots to provincial levels) have been made available so people can access COVID-19 treatment and advice quicker and more easily, local authorities have said. The application is part of the city’s intelligent operations centre (IOC), so all public opinions uploaded on the app will be sent to the centre and then to the concerned agencies. When the agency has addressed a grievance, the settlement results will be publicised for users to check and assess state agencies’ performance.

The app will help increase state agencies’ interaction with locals, thereby contributing to an open, transparent, and friendly living environment. According to officials, the app developers will add more functions to further connect citizens with the administration. The Quang Ninh province is making concerted efforts to develop a digital economy and establish itself as a role model in comprehensive digital transformation at a provincial level.

Among the targets for 2030, the northern province hopes the digital economy will account for about 30% of GDRP, with labour productivity increasing by over 13% annually. It aims for all paperwork-based processes to be handled digitally at district and communal levels. It targets that 99% of adults will open e-banking accounts and 90% of state agencies will monitor and conduct examination activities in the digital environment through information systems. It plans to foster at least 500 digital businesses over the next few years.

Other cities in the country are also going digital. In March, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) unveiled its official digital transformation portal. With a modern, simple, and assessable user interface, the system offers an overview of the city’s related plans, digital progress, news, and cooperation activities, as reported by OpenGov Asia. The site also features a multi-media library. Similar to Ha Long City app, through HCMC’s portal, city leaders can receive ideas, suggestions, and plans from local residents, organisations, and businesses. Users can also search for applications and public services that are being provided on digital platforms.

Meanwhile, Da Nang city became the second city in Southeast Asia to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot tech in tourism. Earlier this year, the municipal Tourism Department coordinated with an AI developer to create and pilot Chatbot Danang Fantasticity. A wide range of attraction sites, tourist activities, and entertainment outlets around the city offer e-coupons via the chatbot. The technology can also communicate with international tourists as it offers English for all its information categories.

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