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Vietnam-Australia Collaborate on Tech Innovation and Smart City Development

Vietnam and Australia recently held the Australia-Vietnam Tech Forum in Ho Chi Minh City, which attracted over 70 executives from 42 technology companies. The event introduced Australian expertise in fintech, digital transformation, and smart cities.

An official from the Vietnamese branch of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Nguyen Quang Trung, noted that the government views digital transformation as critical to continued growth and prosperity. He mentioned the National Action Plan on Digital Transformation, which was announced earlier this month.

Under the plan, Vietnam aims to utilise Industry 4.0 technologies to improve productivity and accelerate economic growth. With a large population, a government committed to ambitious goals, and one of the fastest-growing digital economies, Vietnam shows promise as a thriving market.

The World Bank has released data suggesting that Vietnam’s digital sector may surpass US$ 200 billion by 2045, which represents a huge figure compared to its GDP of US$ 352 billion in 2021. An industry expert has noted that the country’s fintech payment value has risen by 2.98 times from 2017 to 2021, primarily driven by e-commerce.

The COVID-19 pandemic, with its quarantine measures and social distancing requirements, has significantly altered consumer behaviour, resulting in a significant rise in online purchases over the past couple of years. As a result, both e-commerce activities and digital payments have experienced a surge in demand.

Out of Vietnam’s 63 provinces and cities, plans for smart cities have been made by 41, while almost 40 of them have been actively developing smart city services. Furthermore, 17 provinces and cities have either commenced construction or have agreed to construct smart city operating centres.

The Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner at Austrade, Rebecca Ball, stated that the Australian government supports ASEAN in its development of sustainable smart cities, including Vietnam. Australia is working with ASEAN to create cities that are smart and sustainable. For instance, the InnovationXchange programme of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has allocated AU$ 5 million (US$ 3.3 million) for a pilot project aimed at providing support to scale up high-growth potential enterprises, focusing on smart urbanisation solutions in ODA-eligible cities across ASEAN.

Since 2018, Vietnam and Australia have worked together in researching and publishing reports on Vietnam’s digital economy and evaluating the contributions of innovation to Vietnam’s socio-economic development. They have also reached a series of cooperation agreements to promote innovation and technology transfer. Earlier, the countries launched DigiVet-Aus, a business connecting platform to boost software exporting and outsourcing from Vietnam. It provides opportunities for Vietnamese IT companies to strengthen their connection with Australian pairs and vice versa.

In 2021, the two sides launched an artificial intelligence (AI) cooperation network. The network gathers Vietnamese individuals, businesses, and organisations working in AI, both at home and abroad, to cooperate with Australian partners. As OpenGov Asia had reported, the network intends to bring Vietnam opportunities for learning from Australia and around the world to create a favourable environment for AI development to prosper in Vietnam. Through this, realising the ambitious goal set out by the national AI strategy, they seek to enter Vietnam into the top four of ASEAN and the top 50 in the world in AI research, development, and application by 2030.


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