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Vietnam: Unleashing the Power of Open Data

Nguyen Huy Dung, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, recently addressed the significance of open data and AI considering Vietnam’s and the world’s current development trends. Vietnam has made 2023 as the year dedicated to National Digital Data, recognising the role of data as a driving force for economic transformation and improved management capabilities.

Governments worldwide have come to recognise the value of public data as a resource to be harnessed effectively. By opening and sharing data among various stakeholders, it becomes possible to foster innovation, drive socio-economic development, and facilitate stronger collaboration between the government, businesses, and individuals.

“Instead of going fast, Vietnam has chosen to go smart with open data and artificial intelligence (AI), so that institutions, enterprises, and individuals can join forces to create new values,” a report by the Ministry of Information and Communications said.

Vietnam must continue raising awareness regarding the new value of data and enhance the legal framework to support this endeavor. This involves constructing a comprehensive inventory of data resources across various domains to facilitate interdisciplinary data integration, development, and use. Additionally, the establishment of an open data ecosystem is vital to foster collaboration and innovation in the field.

According to Dung, Vietnam has made rapid progress in digital development. With a population of 98.5 million, Vietnam enjoys a significant advantage in terms of market scale. 85% of the population owns smartphones and 79% have internet access. Furthermore, Vietnam’s population has a young demographic structure, with a majority falling within the age ranges of 25-44 and 5-12. This represents a cohort of digital citizens who will contribute to a thriving data market in the future.

The process of ‘going smart’ with the strength of data and AI will enable Vietnam to adopt timely, innovative, and holistic solutions, thereby establishing a competitive advantage for the country. “With this orientation, Vietnam will become a technological country, based on and inheriting the human’s knowledge and contributing knowledge to humans,” Dung claimed.

The Ministry of Information and Communications recently held an international conference, in collaboration with the Thua Thien-Hue People’s Committee and the World Bank to explore the utilisation of open data and AI as catalysts for economic growth.

Speakers covered various topics related to open data and its impact on economic growth. They shared insights on international trends and experiences in implementing, evaluating, and measuring open data. The discussion also revolved around open data policies, opportunities, and challenges specific to different localities in Vietnam. Furthermore, participants engaged in an exchange of knowledge to enhance their understanding of optimising the value of open data, with a focus on leveraging it to drive research, investment, and the application of AI for development in Vietnam.

In 2020, Vietnam kicked off a national digital transformation programme, under which the country would renovate the management and administration activities of the government, the production and business activities of enterprises, and the overall way of living and working. It is working to develop a safe, humane, and wide digital environment. The national digital transformation programme has the dual purpose of both developing the digital government and economy and establishing Vietnamese digital businesses with a global capacity.

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