Australia and Vietnam will jointly launch DigiVet-Aus, a business connecting platform, this September. The project is expected to boost software exporting and outsourcing from Vietnam. The Head of the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia made the announcement during a virtual seminar on information communication technology (ICT) cooperation opportunities between Vietnam and Australia last week.
The official noted that the market size of the software industry in Australia is estimated at AUD13 billion (US$8.9 billion) as the development of the country’s economy is based on ICT platforms. However, the supply of digital products and human resources have dropped mainly due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Managing Director of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) added that the demand for human resources and IT products in Australia is huge. Many Australian enterprises are facing a shortage of ICT workforce while the government is focusing on bolstering the development of digital technologies.
It is an opportunity for Vietnamese IT companies to strengthen their connection with Australian pairs and vice versa, the official noted. Speaking at the webinar, the General Secretary of the Vietnam Software and IT Services Association (VINASA) said that Vietnamese and Australian businesses have many suitable conditions to increase cooperation. He hoped the conference will be a bridge for Australian and Vietnamese IT businesses to expand their networks and strengthen connections.
According to a member of the VINASA, Vietnam’s IT human resources have currently reached more than one million people, covering hardware, software, and digital content. Foreign investors can benefit from the high-quality IT human resources, government support policies, and a market of 97 million people. Also, they get the opportunity to penetrate the larger ASEAN market that comprises more than 600 million people, he added.
In his speech at the webinar, the Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia stated that through a close strategic partnership, Vietnam and Australia have signed an action plan for the 2020-2023 period, including three pillars of the economy, politics-defence security, and innovation; they are all related to digital transformation. The Vietnamese Ambassador added the strategy to strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries, expected to be signed in October, also attaches great importance to this issue. He underlined the current opportunity will not only benefits businesses but support the development of both Vietnam and Australia economies through IT cooperation, contributing to creating many facilities for the people of the two sides.
As OpenGov Asia reported earlier, the digital economy in Vietnam accounts for about 8.2% of GDP. The potential for development for the Internet and digital economy components is large. The ICT digital economy accounts for about 4.5% of global GDP, about 6.9% of America’s GDP, and 7% of China’s GDP. For Vietnam, the ICT digital economy is estimated to account for about 5.5% of the country’s GDP, with a revenue of about US$123 billion.
However, the government has claimed that this number does not reflect the real potential of Vietnam’s Internet digital economy, because many cross-border digital platforms collect billions of dollars in Vietnam but do not make declarations. The supervision and management of online business forms have many loopholes. Measuring the digital economy is still difficult, but this figure shows that Vietnam’s Internet digital economy still has great potential for development. According to a recent report, although Vietnam’s internet economy is behind Indonesia and Thailand in total revenue, Vietnam has the highest growth rate with 16% per year, compared to 11%/year for Indonesia and 7%/year for Thailand.
Malaysia’s Public Sector Data Center (PDSA) services will be upgraded to specific Cloud Computing services for use by all Government agencies. The Government is looking to integrate its services into what will be known as the government hybrid cloud or the MyGovCloud which combines services from MyGovCloud@PDSA and the Public Cloud and has chosen four Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) to make this happen.
The MyGovCloud Initiative is in line with the Fifth Initiative under Malaysia’s Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDigital) which targets 80% storage usage of Cloud Computing across the public sector this year. It aims to drive the digital transformation of the public sector holistically which can stimulate the growth of the digital economy and agenda digitization throughout the country.
The CSP selection was done following an evaluation of the proposals sent by both domestic and foreign cloud service providers. As a result of this assessment, the Government agreed to appoint a panel of four companies as CSPs to provide the best and most secure cloud services for the government portals.
To empower MyGovCloud, Centralized Contract Agreement Cloud Computing also known as a Cloud Framework Agreement (CFA) was signed between the Government, the CSPs and locally appointed CSPs known as Managed Service Providers (MSPs). The CFA contract with the Government, CSP and MSP involves four CSP companies and four MSP companies.
The involvement of the CSPs and MSPs is expected to open investment potential in the country worth between RM12 billion and RM15 billion by 2025. This investment will serve as the ‘backbone’ of the formation of a sustainable digital ecosystem to achieve sustainable economic growth, thus will make Malaysia the main digital hub in the ASEAN region.
The MyGovCloud initiative is believed to produce more experts in cloud computing through ongoing training and program certification provided by CSP and MSP. This is also possible to improve the competence and ability of civil servants in tandem with current needs and technology.
Through the implementation of CFA, public sector agencies will be able to enjoy a better, faster, and more efficient cloud service and will avail of competitive prices offered at discounted rates in bulk by the CSPs and MSPs. Overall, this CFA agreement is aimed at innovation in the procurement of cloud services across all public sector agencies and will help in strengthening the function and role of MAMPU in the future.
With this deal sealed, it is hoped that more benefits will be enjoyed by the citizens of Malaysia as well as public sector agencies, promoting developmental digital technology among all Malaysians.
The government cloud market is expected to grow from US$15.4 billion in 2017 to US$ 28.8 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.4%.
Government departments across the world are realising the importance of maintaining and controlling cloud data for continuity and compliance purposes. The government cloud enables these agencies to manage and store data securely and efficiently, resulting in enhanced and unified teams that can handle bigger projects at an effective cost.
Cloud hosting services provide a slew of advantages for government agencies and other small departments. These services may be taken on rent to fulfil computing power and data storage requirements, as often as needed, instead of a one-time investment being incurred for the procurement of servers and the handling of ongoing expenses towards maintaining expensive data centres.
In addition, the government cloud provides greater computing capability particularly in the implementation of disaster recovery and relief situations, as it enables government agencies to develop customised solutions for backup, with regards to the data and application types, sequence, and backup location. It involves the replication of application and data on a virtual machine, and the data can be recovered automatically when a disruption occurs.
According to Johnny G. Plate, Minister of Communications and Informatics, three Indonesian satellites would be launched into orbit by next year using the Falcon-6 rocket operated by an aerospace manufacturer in the United States
“First, in May, Boeing’s Hot Backup Satellite. Second, it will be used to deliver the SATRIA-1 rocket in June or July. Third, to deliver the Telkom-Sat Satellite whose schedule is being prepared,” says Minister Johnny.
He added that the Falcon-6 rocket is a satellite that has been used and is not a one-time launch. Instead, the Falcon-6 rocket is used to transport the High Throughput Satellite (HTS) into orbit and back to earth. The Minister hopes that the launch process will run smoothly and the placement of the satellite orbits according to the scheduled time.
The HBS and SATRIA satellites could operate in the fourth quarter of 2023. After being launched, in the first phase, the HBS will be used to serve 20,000 points of public service facilities throughout Indonesia.
For the SATRIA-1 satellite, the name is PSN-N3 which will carry out operations and maintenance. Meanwhile, the Boeing satellite, which is called PSN-N5, will also be operated and maintained by PSN as a private satellite.
With the launch of the satellite, Indonesia will have a satellite capacity of 2 X 150 Gbps. However, Indonesia will use a total of 230 Gbps. The 150 Gbps SATRIA-1 is used by all of Indonesia, while the 150 Gbps Hot Backup Boeing, 80 Gbps is used for Indonesia.
The remaining 70 Gbps will be used by the Philippines and Malaysia due to Public-Private Partnership (PPP). Minister explained that the nation should measure the commercial feasibility and there are commercial and financial considerations as well.
The Minister of Communication and Information stated that satellite transportation usually uses large-bodied cargo aircraft. Hence, with the limitations of the carrier, according to Minister Johnny, an alternative will soon be sought.
The possibility for SATRIA to use sea transportation routes from France using ships brought to Florida or across the Atlantic. It takes about two weeks of transportation, as well as the Boeing (Hot Backup) satellite that will use land transportation from its production site in Pasadena to Florida, it takes 9 to 10 days of road trips with special containers.
Minister Johnny is optimistic that the logistics and transportation problems will only slightly affect the commercial operation date.
Meanwhile, in addition to monitoring developments in the manufacture of satellites, Minister Johnny is preparing the construction of an earth satellite that is in accordance with the High Throughput Satellite (HTS) by using the Hot Backup Satellite (HBS) technology.
Minister Johnny stated that an earth station needs to be built so that there is a signal receiver from space. According to him, the government hopes that the construction of the earth station that is being carried out can run well.
He added that to support the operations of the two satellites, the government has also started to build 11 earth stations or gateways in Indonesia. Later it will be added to 18 gateways for two satellites.
The construction of 11 earth stations to connect space bridges shows the government’s seriousness in pursuing the target of the SATRIA-1 Satellite Project.
The Telecommunications and Information Accessibility Agency (BAKTI) of the Komifo Ministry built gateways in these 11 locations with the consideration of equitable access and acceleration of digital transformation.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Europe’s largest ports have teamed together to create the world’s longest Green and Digital Corridor. Decarbonising shipping is a top priority for the agency addressing climate change and calls for the cooperation of the entire maritime industry.
“As a trusted global maritime hub, Singapore contributes actively to IMO’s efforts to make international shipping more sustainable, and global supply chains more resilient,” says S Iswaran, Minister for Transport and Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations, Singapore.
He added that the collaboration demonstrates how like-minded partners can collaborate to supplement the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) efforts and that it will serve as a valuable platform to pilot concepts that can be scaled up for more green and global shipping.
The MoU will bring together stakeholders from the entire supply chain to launch the first sustainable vessels on the route by 2027. While international shipping currently relies heavily on marine gas oil (MGO) and low-sulfur fuel oil, sustainable alternatives such as biofuels, including biogases, are becoming more widely available.
Other alternatives, such as synthetic methane, hydrogen, and hydrogen-based fuels such as ammonia and methanol, are in various stages of research and development in preparation for future trials and deployment.
Each alternative fuel has its own set of challenges in terms of cost, availability, safety, and range limitations due to lower energy density when compared to fossil fuels. To address these issues, the MOU will bring together a broad coalition of shippers, fuel suppliers, and other businesses to collaborate on potential solutions.
Apart from alternative fuels, the MoU aims to improve maritime efficiency, safety, and the transparent flow of goods by establishing a digital trade lane for the exchange of relevant data, electronic documentation, and standards. This will allow for the smooth movement of vessels and cargo while also optimising vessel arrival times from port to port.
The port authorities will collaborate with some action partners as well as other supply chain partners. This will allow the Green and Digital Corridor project to gain investor trust, attract green financing, and launch joint bunkering pilots and trials for digitalization and the use of low- and zero-carbon fuels along the route.
Moreover, shipping is one of the most important industries to decarbonize because of its extensive international reach and growing volume. Authorities can enable carriers to switch to zero-carbon fuels and accelerate the transition to more sustainable shipping by bringing parties from across the supply chain together along one of the world’s busiest trade lanes.
The MoU bolsters Singapore’s strong economic partnership by reaffirming the country’s commitment to facilitating a multi-fuel bunkering transition as part of the Maritime Singapore Decarbonisation Blueprint 2050 and accelerating digitalisation efforts to improve maritime efficiency and supply chain resilience.
The pilot will supplement efforts by the shipping industry and partners to support the decarbonisation and digitalisation transition for international shipping, with a focus on developing and scaling up green and digital solutions for wider adoption.
On the other hand, OpenGov Asia earlier reported that the MPA will keep advancing research and development, implementing marine technology (MarineTech), and enhancing maritime cybersecurity skills to establish industry-wide capabilities. This should increase the nation’s resilience and ability to handle disruptions.
Beyond 31 December 2022, MPA will continue to provide cash support for the deployment of previously authorised digital solutions to marine firms that qualify. More than 3,000 SMEs in the Sea Transport subsectors will be qualified to apply for co-funding because of the expansion.
An Educational Technology expert at CQUniversity has been named amongst Queensland’s brightest minds in education research and granted over AU$ 76 000 for an upcoming digital safety project. He was one of 14 successful applicants to receive a Queensland Government Education Horizon grant to respond to modern challenges in education and build solutions that will benefit Queenslanders for generations to come.
The project focuses on digital safety in schools and includes holistic digital citizenship, incorporating aspects of literacy, well-being, relationships and awareness of technology habits.
He noted that the team anticipates that, through this project, a greater understanding of how kids interact online for learning will be gained. This will inform a set of workshops designed as professional development for educators and we will deliver this back to Queensland schools.
The professor stated that, since COVID-19, how students use the online space has changed significantly. However, there has, thus far, been little empirical evidence of their current usage and how it relates to safety needs. Thus, this project focuses on the perspectives of Year 6 to 8 students, who are newly independent internet users, to identify the factors that enable or challenge their ability to use technology in empowering ways for learning.
By identifying these complex and often less visible aspects of students’ technology engagement and decision-making, our findings will contribute to a holistic and up-to-date framework of a digital safety culture, as well as a professional learning package that informs staff and student engagement for learning, and impacts new policy and practices, the Professor said.
The project is expected to run over six months and Assoc Prof Cowling will collaborate with CQUniversity adjunct academics Dr Kwong Nui Sim and Dr Joanne Orlando (Auckland University of Technology and Western Sydney University respectively).
Education Minister Grace Grace said the Education Horizon grants were more than just funding to support quality research, they were an investment in students’ futures.
Research projects like these cover a wide range of education matters, from health and wellbeing, to leadership, to learning in a rapidly changing modern world.
The Queensland government supports vital research
The Queensland Education Department’s Education Horizon research grant scheme funds high-quality local research that aligns with the government’s priorities and the department’s priority research themes. Queensland researchers with a Queensland-based sponsor organisation are eligible to apply at the time of invitation to their university’s vice-chancellor office. Limitations may be placed on the number of applications per university.
Some of Queensland’s brightest minds in education research have been granted a combined $1 million in the Queensland Government’s funding to respond to modern challenges in education and build solutions that will benefit Queenslanders for generations to come.
The region’s Education Minister recently announced the 14 successful projects to receive Education Horizon grants for high-quality early childhood and school education research for 2022 – 10 of which are led by women. She noted that the Education Horizon grants are more than just funding to support quality research, they are an investment in students’ futures.
The selected research projects cover a wide range of education matters, from health and wellbeing, to leadership, to learning in a rapidly changing modern world. Each of the 14 projects were selected by a departmental panel from a total of 42 applicants, with the successful projects to be delivered over six months.
The Minister said the Education Horizon grants were first launched in 2016, with this the fifth grant round to be awarded.
The Ministry of Communication and Informatics together with the Communication and Information Office of East Java Province, and the Indonesian Anti-Defamation Society (MAFINDO) recently held a Digital Literacy Week which aimed to increase the digital literacy capacity of the local communities and the millennials so that they can utilise the digital technology effectively and responsibly.
There is a pressing need for digital literacy since the pace of technological advancement continues to outpace the skills of the human workforce. To keep up with the pace of technology advancements, HR development needs to accelerate.
– Hudiyono, Head, Communications and Information Technology, East Java Province
The Digital Literacy Week is one part of the National Digital Literacy Programme entitled Indonesia Makin Cakap Digital which raises four pillars of digital literacy, namely Digital Ethics, Digital Capability, Digital Security, and Digital Culture. This activity aims to reach 50 million people by 2024.
Digital literacy has been promoted since 2017 by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics but because of the pandemic, digital literacy programmes became part of President Jokowi’s vision and mission efforts regarding the development of digital human resources.
With this, millennials or the younger generation are referred to as one of the potential generations in the current era of technological disruption.
Moreover, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics has created digital literacy modules such as the digital security module on fundamental personal digital privacy and security practices; hoax resistance class; personal branding class; and creator content class.
The digital literacy discussion assembly, in which participants from millennial groups and local communities explored how to become more digitally literate using the four pillars of digital literacy, was attended by more than 350 individuals.
Meanwhile, according to the Director General of Information and Public Communication of the Ministry of Communication and Informatics, Usman Kansong, the development of digital skills for MSMEs is needed to be able to promote their products in the online market (e-commerce). In addition, with digital skills, MSMEs are expected to be able to produce new technology or applications that can be used by other similar business actors.
The agency also involves scholars, priests and the younger generation to encourage the productive use of digital space. Director General Usman emphasised that the Ministry continues to aid MSMEs in actively selling on digital platforms.
After the recently held 3rd Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) Meeting of the G20 Presidency, the Minister of Communication and Information, Johnny G. Plate visited the MSME exhibition booth in West Manggarai Regency.
The Minister noticed the product produced and interacted with West Manggarai MSME entrepreneurs and appreciated the process of agricultural products and packaging with good, attractive designs and the “Proudly Made Indonesia” logo.
The Minister also provides input so that MSME entrepreneurs can narrate their products well and are able to take advantage of technological advances to market MSME products and transact with buyers such as barcode technology.
Local entrepreneurs hope that the MSME digitisation process will be able to elevate the West Manggarai MSMEs to compete at national and international levels.
The visit of Minister Johnny is a matter of pride for them, and they hope that the process of digitising MSMEs will be able to elevate West Manggarai MSMEs to international markets, which will lead to improving the economy of MSME entrepreneurs.
Several domestic banks in Vietnam have 90% of their transactions conducted on digital platforms, surpassing the target of 70% set for 2025. Half of the country’s banking services are expected to be digitalised and 70% of transactions will be carried out online by 2025.
The Vietnamese Prime Minister, Pham Minh Chinh, recently stated that the banking sector has played a significant role in national digital transformation by deploying products and services for people and businesses. He urged the sector to further reform its management methods towards modernity and transparency and diversify and improve the quality of its products and services to curb money laundering.
Addressing an event called, “Digital Transformation Day of the Banking Sector” Chinh explained that the sector should work to understand more about the demands of people, businesses, and credit institutions to devise suitable legal documents, facilitating the application of digital technologies in banking services.
He asked the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to continue its close coordination with ministries and agencies to formulate a decree on cashless payments and submit it to the government. Common infrastructure such as payment and credit information infrastructure should be promoted. He said suggested stronger connectivity between banks and credit organisations.
Chinh also requested the sector ensure cybersecurity and safety in digital transformation, given the rise of high-tech crime. The sector should raise public awareness about the benefits of digital transformation, enhance personnel training capabilities, and boost international cooperation in digital transformation.
The Prime Minister also attended an exhibition showcasing products and services that promote the digital transformation of the banking sector. Chinh had a working session with representatives from the SBV and commercial banks. He congratulated the sector on its effective operations amid a host of difficulties, especially those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He suggested the sector further cut interest rates to support businesses and actively engage in the state’s policies, particularly housing credit for workers and low-income earners. Participants attributed the developments of banks to supportive policies adopted by the state, the management of the government, and stability in the country.
Vietnam’s financial technology market could grow to US$ 18 billion by 2024. The country is a leader among ASEAN members in terms of the volume of financing for fintech, second only to Singapore. Over 93% of all venture investments in the country are directed at e-wallets and the e-money segment. The total number of fintech companies has grown to 97 since 2016, an 84.5% increase. However, the number of newly-launched start-ups each year decreased from 11 to 2.
As OpenGov Asia reported, the market features high competitiveness and a high entry bar. Transaction volume has seen a 152.8% growth since 2016, with 29.5 million new fintech users. As a result, every second Vietnamese citizen uses at least one fintech service. Demand for digital services (transactions, payments, and wallets) in the country is high. According to industry analysts, Vietnam’s fintech sector is young and promising. The market valuation has increased from US$ 0.7 billion to US$ 4.5 billion since 2016.
Michael G. Regino, President and CEO of SSS, announced that self-employed, volunteer, non-working spouses, and land-based Overseas Filipino Workers can pay their contributions through the online method of their choice. This was done in cooperation with the different financial and private sectors.
“We encourage our members and employers to pay their contributions using our online channels as through these payment facilities, they no longer must go to our branches. These can be accessed at the safety and convenience of their homes or offices,” says Michael.
Individual members may furthermore use the websites and mobile apps of other SSS-accredited collecting partners, such as most banks in the public and commercial sectors of the nation. However, both commercial and domestic employers have access to online payment methods.
SSS is a publicly funded social insurance programme that the Philippine government requires to provide coverage to all wage earners in the private, public, and unorganised sectors.
The agency is mandated to set up, develop, promote, and perfect a sound, tax-free social security system that fits the needs of everyone in the Philippines. This system should encourage social justice through savings and protect members and their beneficiaries from the risks of disability, illness, maternity, old age, death, and other things that could cause a loss of income or a financial burden.
OpenGov Asia earlier reported that digitalising SSS pension fund services remain one of the top priorities in the Philippines and that more online services will be added to its digital channels.
More than 30 member services and more than 20 employer services are currently easily accessible on the SSS website. Transactions for membership, contributions, loan granting and repayment, and benefit distributions are only a few examples of the services offered. Other SSS internet platforms also extend some of these features.
Further, almost all new online services are made available via the agency’s website, which serves as its main online platform. However, more work is being done to make the services on this portal accessible to smartphone users via the SSS Mobile App.
The agency is slowly making it mandatory for its programme to be done online. Those who don’t have their own way to do business online can use the e-Centres in branches.
In the meantime, the Department of Education (DepEd) worked with the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) and exchanged alumni to improve education about climate change through an online programme called Climate Changemakers.
The National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP) has recognised Climate Changemakers as the first climate change training course as part of the Department’s Professional Development Priorities.
Through online training and other digital education initiatives, the programme aims to make teachers better able to teach climate change skills, integrate climate change skills, and act on climate change in the country.
The ten-week online course, which used synchronous and asynchronous modalities to address common misconceptions about climate change, was successfully completed by 400 instructors. Additionally, it gave teachers a place to consider their own learning, exchange difficulties and effective methods.
The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Professional Fellows Program (YSEALI PFP) is a two-way exchange programme run by the U.S. Department of State. Its goal is to help young leaders from different countries in Asia and the United States to get to know each other better and strengthen economic relationships.