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Vietnam, Laos Pioneer Digital Economy Development

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Vietnam and Laos are fostering collaboration in technology and innovation to support the development of their digital economies. They have agreed that fostering digital economic development is a crucial factor in enhancing productivity, quality, efficiency, and competitiveness within their economies.

The two countries held a seminar in Hanoi last week, which served as a foundation for the two nations to enact collaboration plans that will transform science, technology, and innovation partnerships into a prominent aspect of their relationship.

It was led by the Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology, Huynh Thanh Dat, and the Lao Minister of Technology and Communications, Boviengkham Vongdara. During the event, participants proposed cooperation plans and joint research projects.

Furthermore, the Department of Application and Development of Technology of Vietnam and the Lao Technology Promotion and Transfer Centre signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the time to come.

According to Minister Dat, the countries must allocate increased investment resources for collaborative research, application, development, and innovation in the future. He suggested that the relevant units of both countries promptly advance cooperation tasks in alignment with the protocol on technology application, transfer, and innovation.

For his part, Minister Vongdara emphasised the commitment of the two ministries to further advance collaboration in science, technology, and innovation, ensuring the effective implementation of signed agreements in the future.

The Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Bui The Duy, expressed Vietnam’s readiness to share experiences and provide assistance to Laos in the development of its draft law on innovation, as well as in formulating strategies for science, technology, and innovation.

Dat highlighted the growth of multifaceted cooperation and the strong bilateral ties between Vietnam and Laos, emphasising that these have played a vital role in preserving political stability, ensuring national defence and security, and fostering socio-economic development in both countries.

Prioritising the advancement of the digital economy is recognised as a crucial objective in accelerating economic restructuring. It is closely linked to innovating the growth model and elevating growth quality to help a nation break free from the middle-income trap and transition towards achieving full development as an industrialised country.

In September, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia jointly organised a conference to discuss digital economic development trends, underscoring their readiness to build digital-transformation-oriented socio-economic infrastructure.

As OpenGov Asia reported, they discussed the potential to enhance trade and investment, opportunities and challenges arising from digital transformation for the growth of trilateral ties, and strategies to advance their cooperative efforts in the digital era.

During the event, experts suggested that the countries should create and enhance institutional and legal frameworks that meet the requirements of the international integration era in the context of the digital economy. Furthermore, they recommended investing in the development of digital infrastructure to support the growth of their respective national digital economies.

Vietnam’s digital economy is projected to expand to reach approximately US$ 45 billion by 2025. This forecast includes an annual growth rate of 20% between 2023 and 2025, mainly driven by expectations of strong economic growth.

While the projected figures for Vietnam’s digital economy in the current report are US$ 4 billion lower than the 2022 edition, which anticipated annual growth of 31%, reaching US$ 49 billion by 2025, Vietnam’s digital economy remains poised for significant expansion.


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