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Vietnam’s Digital Transformation Progress and Objectives

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This year, digital transformation in the country has progressed significantly. Tech-driven projects have yielded tangible results and positive impacts on overall socioeconomic development. The government successfully executed the National Digital Data Year and the National Population Database. Enhancements in online services and digital infrastructure have resulted in nearly 80% of the Vietnamese population now being connected to the Internet. There has also been an increased focus on cybersecurity and ensuring information safety.

Image credits: VNA

Vietnam secured the 46th position in the 2023 Global Innovation Index (GII) by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, marking a two-place improvement from last year. The national digital transformation index experienced a significant increase of 48% over three years, progressing from 0.48 in 2020 to 0.71 in 2022, and is anticipated to reach 0.75 by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, the digital economy has expanded at an annual average rate of 20%, which is three times higher than the GDP growth rate. Its anticipated contribution to the national economy is estimated to be 16.5% in 2023.

This year, Vietnamese users embraced digital banking and new payment methods like mobile banking apps, e-wallets, QR code-based payments, e-commerce payment platforms, and mobile wallet debit or credit cards. Approximately four out of five consumers use e-wallets at least once a week. This surge is partly attributed to an increase in online shopping and e-commerce. The e-commerce sector could achieve an estimated US$ 20.5 billion this year.

For two consecutive years, in 2022 and 2023, Vietnam ranked among the top 10 countries in terms of new mobile application downloads. The user base on digital platforms in the country witnessed a 46% growth compared to 2022.

Furthermore, the number of digital technology firms in the country has witnessed a 30% growth, and there has been a 32% increase in industry revenue since 2019. There are more than 1,500 Vietnamese digital technology enterprises, with revenue from foreign markets, an increase of more than 7% compared to 2022.

Digital Transformation Objectives for 2024

During a recent meeting of the National Committee for Digital Transformation, ministries, agencies, and localities were assigned tasks for digital transformation in the upcoming year. The Chairman, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, urged the committee and the steering committees for digital transformation in government agencies to formulate transformation plans for 2024.

These plans should concentrate on developing the digital economy, focusing on four key pillars: the information technology industry, the digitalisation of economic sectors, digital management, and digital data.

Chinh said online public service delivery must be more efficient, especially the 53 essential services. He wants the country to focus on advancing national digital infrastructure, including the establishment of the National Data Centre.

Other priorities include upgrading the national axis for the early roll-out of commercial 5G services in 2024. The aim is to eliminate mobile signal dead zones across the country and provide all villages and hamlets with access to fibre-optic cable connectivity.

He requested the rapid development of digital platforms, applications, and services. This includes artificial intelligence (AI) platforms, virtual assistants, the VNeID digital citizen application, digital payment applications, electronic invoices and contracts, and personal digital signatures.

For the upcoming year, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has recommended that digital transformation efforts should focus on universalising digital infrastructure. The goal is to develop digital applications that will catalyse the growth of the digital economy, becoming a new driver for economic advancement and productivity.

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