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Digitising SMEs Expected to Add US$ 30 Billion to Vietnam’s GDP

According to the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Enterprise Management, Nguyen Trong Duong, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) could surge by US$30 billion if the country successfully digitally transforms its small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Duong was speaking at a recent conference that aimed to bolster digital transformation support for SMEs this year. Firms engaging in digital transformation have reported higher productivity and profits two-fold compared to their peers, he said. Statistics showed that US$3.1 trillion will be added to Asia-Pacific’s GDP by 2024 if digital transformation for SMEs is accelerated. According to a report, the process is forecast to help raise Vietnam’s GDP by US$30 billion. The country is currently home to about 785,000 SMEs, which make up more than 98% of the total number of businesses. They create jobs for 70% of the country’s labourers and contribute about 50% of GDP.

2021 witnessed uncertainties due to new variants of the coronavirus, which forced 24% of SMEs to suspend operations and the number of newly-established firms to slip by 15%, Duong said. Therefore, digital transformation is viewed as key for SMEs to address bottlenecks and adapt to the pandemic. The Deputy Minister of Information and Communications (MIC), Nguyen Huy Dung, noted that MIC will join hands with localities nationwide to carry out a programme to bolster digital transformation among SMEs this year and set up a consultation network on a digital economy and technology at commune levels.

Under the programme, the MIC will evaluate the digital transformation rate of 100,000 firms across the country based on the Digital Business Indicators (DBI). The assessment is projected to help fine-tune specific action plans and step-up digital transformation among enterprises as well as digital economic development, the official added.

Last week, the Ministry of Science and Technology co-organised a meeting to discuss technology innovation assistance for start-ups. Participants at the event introduced policies and solutions to help enterprises establish cooperative links with local and international scientists and organisations to boost technological innovation. They also listed examples of successful cooperation models of technology transfer. The Ministry will adjust national science and technology tasks and programmes for the next five to ten years. It will also accelerate support for businesses via the National Technology Innovation Fund and the National Foundation for Science and Technology Development.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, several scientists, universities, and research institutes unveiled new inventions and technologies to businesses. They also asked state administrative agencies to promote investment in hi-tech laboratories at major universities and serve as a bridge to connect them with the business community. Experts suggested that the government should issue financial policies and mechanisms to support businesses in technological innovation.

A database on scientific and technological advances in the country and abroad should be created to help businesses adopt new technologies effectively. An official from the Ministry of Science and Technology noted that supporting businesses develop and deploying new technologies is a critical task not just for the technology sector but also for state administrative agencies and local authorities.

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