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Ho Chi Minh City’s Digital Transformation Agenda

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Ho Chi Minh City, the bustling economic hub of Vietnam, is poised to strengthen its ties with Sweden in the realm of digital transformation, aiming to harness Swedish expertise and technology to propel its development agenda towards a green and sustainable future.

Image credits: Vietnam Plus

Vo Van Hoan, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, reiterated the city’s commitment to facilitating Swedish enterprises’ exploration of investment and business opportunities, particularly in cutting-edge fields like digital transformation and sustainable development initiatives.

Håkan Jevrell, State Secretary to the Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Sweden, as part of the Sweden – Vietnam business roundtable meeting on innovation and sustainable development, Hoan underscored Ho Chi Minh City’s strategic vision to drive digital transformation and transition towards environmentally friendly, sustainable growth models.

He urged Sweden to step up cooperation in sharing expertise, knowledge, and technology in crucial areas such as digitalisation, energy transition, climate change adaptation, and green development strategies.

Hoan emphasised the city’s readiness to collaborate with Swedish enterprises in fostering bilateral trade and advancing innovation initiatives that align with Sweden’s strengths and Vietnam’s developmental goals. Recognising the significance of embracing green and renewable energy solutions in production processes, Hoan expressed his desire for deeper coordination in organising exchange programmes and business meetings between Swedish and Vietnamese companies, with a particular focus on human resource development to nurture talent capable of driving forward these initiatives.

Furthermore, Hoan stressed the shared responsibility of enterprises from both sides in producing goods that meet Swedish and EU standards, thereby not only bolstering bilateral economic ties but also contributing to mutual benefits and sustainable growth. In response, Håkan Jevrell highlighted Sweden’s wealth of experience, technology, and resources, affirming Sweden’s commitment to partnering with Ho Chi Minh City in vital areas like digital transformation, green growth, and sustainable development.

Impressed by the city’s dynamic development trajectory and commitment to innovation, Jevrell expressed his eagerness to unlock collaboration potential between Swedish partners and Ho Chi Minh City, particularly in areas such as innovation, small and medium enterprise (SME) development, digital infrastructure, energy efficiency, and water management.

He emphasised Sweden’s willingness to share insights on increasing the use of green energy in production, ensuring products meet European export standards, and maximising the benefits of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) for trade expansion and economic prosperity.

Moreover, Sweden aims to foster people-to-people diplomacy and facilitate student exchanges while extending invitations to Vietnamese businesses, including those from Ho Chi Minh City, to explore investment opportunities in Sweden. The day culminated in the co-chairing of the Sweden – Vietnam business roundtable meeting on innovation and sustainable development by Hoan and Jevrell, signalling a significant step towards deeper collaboration between the two nations in key strategic areas that promise mutual benefits and sustainable growth.

Ho Chi Minh City is on track to boost its digital economy significantly, aiming to contribute 20% to the city’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) by 2025, rising to 40% by 2030. The city conducted its first scientific assessment of the digital economy’s contribution to the GRDP in 2021, revealing a figure of 15.38%, which increased to 18.66% in 2022 and is projected to reach 22% by 2024.

The Director of the municipal Department of Information and Communications, Lam Dinh Thang, emphasised the city’s pivotal role in leading Vietnam’s transition to a digital economy by 2030, as mandated by the Politburo’s Resolution 31/2022.

To achieve this, the city has integrated digital economic development targets into key resolutions and programmes, focusing on initiatives such as developing digital infrastructure and promoting non-cash payments across various sectors. However, challenges such as awareness gaps, inconsistent measurement methods, and inadequate policies and resources for small and medium-sized enterprises remain to be addressed.


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