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The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) recently unveiled an ambitious plan to propel Vietnamese businesses onto the global stage through a cutting-edge initiative. At the core of this strategy is the selection of 100 exceptional enterprises for the “Vietnam Pavilion” on a leading B2B e-commerce platform, slated to revolutionise the landscape of international trade.
This innovative programme seeks to champion the diverse array of “Made in Vietnam” products, fuel international trade endeavours, and facilitate seamless access for businesses to tap into the vast customer base of an established e-platform. By leveraging this expansive network, the initiative aims to illuminate Vietnam’s products and the prowess of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to a global audience.
The registration window for SMEs extends until January 15, 2024, offering selected participants invaluable insights from seasoned exporters. Vu Ba Phu, Director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, emphasised the pivotal role of this collaboration with the e-commerce giant, highlighting its potential to furnish SMEs with a gateway to the global market. This collaboration underscores a strategic shift toward digital trade, fortifying resilience amid the unpredictable undulations of the global market.
The inception of the “Vietnam Pavilion” in 2022 signals a concerted effort to bolster Vietnamese businesses by amplifying their brand presence and facilitating seamless networking opportunities. According to the Country Director of the e-commerce company in Vietnam, this alliance is pivotal in augmenting the global footprint of Vietnamese enterprises, streamlining their participation in global business endeavours.
In the previous year, Vietnam witnessed an exponential surge in exports via e-commerce, surmounting 80 trillion VND (approximately 3.25 billion USD). Forecasts project a meteoric rise, expecting the figure to soar to nearly 300 trillion VND by 2027. In anticipation of this burgeoning trend, Vietrade swiftly rolled out various online and hybrid trade promotion models, yielding commendable outcomes.
Simultaneously, the Ministry of Industry and Trade organised an event to introduce the “National Centralised Promotion Programme 2023 – Vietnam Grand Sale 2023” to stakeholders across the country. This initiative is designed to invigorate trade promotion endeavours while fortifying the branding of Vietnamese goods. The programme aims to stimulate domestic market growth, diversify purchasing channels, and bolster production, circulation, and business activities, catalysing the country’s economic resurgence.
The National Focused Promotion 2023 is set to be a nationwide affair, spearheaded by the Department of Trade Promotion in collaboration with relevant industry units, associations, businesses, and organisations. This concerted effort will encompass a multifaceted approach, blending traditional trade methods with e-commerce to generate a ripple effect, drawing the active participation of enterprises across sectors.
Businesses are granted the autonomy to partake in the “National Focused Promotion 2023” Programme by proactively engaging in diverse and compelling promotional activities aimed at captivating customers. They have the prerogative to set promotional limits (up to 100%), provided they adhere to legal and transparent promotional practices and safeguard consumer rights.
As stipulated, the permissible limit for goods and services used in promotional activities during the specified period from December 4, 2023, to February 9, 2024, stands at 100%, in alignment with regulatory decisions.
In essence, these initiatives orchestrated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade represent a decisive stride toward harnessing technological advancements to bolster Vietnam’s economic landscape, empowering businesses to thrive in the digital age while fortifying their global market presence.
Vietnam is eager to develop its digital economy and ensure that it is ready to make use of any opportunities to expand.
OpenGov Asia reported that the Ministry of Information and Communications is designing a strategy for Vietnam’s international fibre-optic cable development that will soon be released. This initiative aims to guarantee the secure and sustainable advancement of Vietnam’s digital infrastructure, according to Pham Duc Long, the Deputy Minister of MIC.
A delegation from the Ministry of State Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucratic Reform (PANRB) met with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations (PTRI New York) in New York. The meeting addressed the importance of digitisation as a fundamental foundation in bureaucratic reform.
Digitisation, involving representatives from the Ministry of PANRB and PTRI New York, discussed concrete steps to integrate technology into bureaucratic reform efforts. The discussion involved aspects such as implementing information systems, developing human resource capacity, and using technological innovation to enhance administrative efficiency.
In this meeting, the delegation from the Ministry of PANRB, led by Deputy for Institutional and Organisational Affairs Nanik Murwati, accompanied by Acting Assistant Deputy for Institutional and Organisational Affairs for the Economy, Maritime, and Investment of the Ministry of PANRB Ario Wiriandhi, was received by the Permanent Representative of Indonesia to PTRI New York, Arrmanatha Christiawan Nasir, and his team. The meeting began with discussions on the progress of institutional and organisational policy.
Nanik emphasised the urgency and importance of bureaucratic reform supported by data-based digital governance. “Digitisation through the SPBE architecture is the main foundation for bureaucratic reform, with its impact to be felt by the Indonesian people both domestically and internationally,” said Nanik.
Nanik demonstrated the Indonesian government’s commitment to advancing bureaucratic reform through digital transformation through this meeting. They underscored the importance of international collaboration, especially in exchanging knowledge and experiences related to implementing technology in public administration.
One of the main focuses of the meeting was to enhance the effectiveness of public services through implementing digital solutions. The delegation discussed the potential use of artificial intelligence, data analysis, and technology-based platforms to expedite decision-making processes and provide more responsive services to the public.
“The use of digital technology in various aspects of government operations, such as reporting, data management, and interagency coordination, can create a more open, transparent, and efficient environment,” said Nanik.
The Ministry of State Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucratic Reform (PANRB) emphasised simplifying and integrating business processes to strengthen digitisation. The main goal is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of task implementation, programmes, and services across all government agencies, including those carried out by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia (PTRI) in New York.
Nanik, the representative from the Ministry of PANRB, revealed that the next step is to conduct an in-depth review with PTRI New York regarding the institutional arrangement policy of the Indonesian Representative Abroad. This institutional arrangement aligns with the revision of Presidential Decree No. 108/2003 concerning the Organisation of the Indonesian Representation Abroad. This process aims to align and enhance the organisational structure to provide optimal support in diplomatic tasks.
The discussion highlighted crucial points, including the position and relationship of business processes and work procedures between PTRI and KJRI New York, KBRI Washington DC, and other organisational elements within the PTRI New York environment. The results of the meeting are expected to form a strong foundation to strengthen synergy and efficiency in diplomatic tasks at PTRI in New York.
Furthermore, through this collaborative step, Nanik believes that by implementing digitisation comprehensively in bureaucracy, there will be significant opportunities to improve the efficiency and responsiveness of public services. Digitisation will facilitate access and information exchange between agencies, reduce task execution time, minimise bureaucracy, and mitigate risks associated with manual processes.
This initiative addresses current needs and looks ahead, creating a robust foundation for adapting to ongoing technological developments. Thus, Indonesia can continue to deliver excellent and responsive public services, achieving the goal of sustainable bureaucratic transformation.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) recently visited Dumangas, Iloilo, to witness the demonstration of SARAi, a cutting-edge remote-sensing technology developed by the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
This initiative is part of NEDA’s ongoing efforts to harness the potential of remote-sensing technologies for gathering timely crop data, a crucial element in providing anticipatory inflation policy advice through the Inter-Agency Committee on Inflation and Market Outlook (IAC-IMO).
Project SARAi, standing for Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry in the Philippines, focuses on monitoring agricultural production. During the demonstration, the Dumangas SARAi team showcased the generation of crop commodity maps using satellite data. The validation process involves a mobile phone app or a specialised drone, ensuring accuracy in monitoring the growth and health of crops in Dumangas.
While SARAi has proven useful at the local government unit (LGU) level, its current pilot implementation is limited to a few LGUs. NEDA Assistant Secretary Reynaldo R Cancio emphasised the need for broader implementation to fully tap into its potential for guiding national policy-making. Acknowledging challenges faced during the technology’s introduction to pilot LGUs, Reynaldo highlighted financial resource constraints and a lack of appreciation for the technology’s benefits as major hurdles.
NEDA proposed national government support for the deployment of remote-sensing technologies like SARAi, particularly for LGUs with financial constraints. He stressed the importance of coordination among various remote-sensing projects to avoid duplication and ensure applicability for national-level inflation management.
As NEDA continues to work with the IAC-IMO, the focus remains on providing inflation policy advice using existing data sets. Simultaneously, efforts persist in studying the potential of remote-sensing technologies like SARAi as invaluable tools for gathering essential data in the ongoing pursuit of effective inflation management.
In addition, NEDA has taken a significant step towards advancing the digital landscape in the Philippines with the release of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for Republic Act No. 11927, popularly known as the Philippine Digital Workforce Competitiveness Act. This strategic move, approved on October 2023, reflects a meticulous consultation process involving various stakeholders, including government agencies and private sector representatives.
NEDA Secretary Arsenio M Balisacan emphasised the crucial role the Act plays in equipping the workforce with digital technologies and skills while fostering a dynamic innovation ecosystem. The IRR outlines the establishment of the Inter-Agency Council (IAC) for the Development and Competitiveness of the Philippine Digital Workforce, chaired by NEDA and composed of eight other key agencies.
This Council will be the primary body responsible for planning, coordinating, and implementing initiatives to enhance the competitiveness of the country’s digital workforce, with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) serving as the secretariat.
The Act empowers the IAC to formulate the National Roadmap on Digital Technology and Digital Skills, laying the foundation for programmes aimed at upskilling, re-skilling, and training the digital workforce. In a bid to streamline information dissemination, the Council will establish a centralised online portal harmonising existing portals of member agencies. This portal will provide comprehensive details on training and skills development programmes, certifications, and scholarship opportunities.
These initiatives directly address identified gaps in digital technology and skills mapping, ensuring that Filipinos across the nation have access to the skills and competencies essential for navigating the digital landscape. The focus on digital content, platforms, innovations, entrepreneurship, and technology aligns with the ever-evolving demands of the global labour market, positioning the Philippines as a competitive player in the digital workforce arena.
Having robust and effective public services is a fundamental goal for every country aiming to enhance the quality of life for its citizens. Quality public services, especially healthcare access, are pivotal in societal well-being and development. As a basic human need, the significance of quality public services in healthcare becomes even more prominent.
New Zealand government is aware of fostering its public services. In light of this, New Zealand has embraced a transformative journey by integrating digital technologies to enhance the accessibility and efficiency of its public services. The introduction of the rural after-hours telehealth service is a testament to the commitment of public health authorities to leverage technology for the benefit of citizens, especially those in remote areas.
This initiative aligns with the broader agenda of digital transformation sweeping across various sectors. The transformative service is co-commissioned by Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora and is delivered through a collaboration between three leading telehealth organisations in New Zealand.
Rural communities now have two convenient methods to access the telehealth service. The public can contact 0800 2 KA ORA (0800 252 672), or their rural healthcare provider can refer them. This dynamic service, operational for a week, has already engaged 20 rural practices, with more set to join in the coming days.
When individuals contact the service, a triage process is initiated by skilled nurses and kaiāwhina. Patients are seamlessly referred to a doctor if necessary. Jess White, general manager of telehealth organisations, spoke about this innovative platform that provides rural communities an additional option for receiving care.
Dr Sarah Clarke, National Clinical Director for one of the telehealth organisations at Te Whatu Ora, underscored the significant impact of this service on the most isolated communities, where access to after-hours care, particularly without reliable internet access, has been a persistent challenge. Selah Hart, Deputy Chief Executive from one of the telehealth organisations at Te Aka Whai Ora, underscores the relief this service brings to rural whānau, particularly those with young children who previously had to endure long journeys for after-hours medical care.
Operational on weekdays from 5:00 pm to 8:00 am and providing 24-hour coverage on weekends and public holidays, the service is staffed by a team of kaiāwhina, nurses, GPs, and emergency medicine specialists. This coverage ensures accessibility for enrolled and unenrolled individuals in rural areas, enabling them to increase their quality of life.
Te Pae Tata, the Interim New Zealand Health Plan 2022, serves as a strategic framework that spotlights the healthcare needs of various demographic groups. Te Pae Tata underscores the importance of enhancing their access to high-quality and timely healthcare services. The emphasis on rural healthcare is a testament to New Zealand’s commitment to equitable health outcomes and a proactive step towards addressing the specific needs of these communities.
This new rural clinical telehealth service complements New Zealand’s existing telehealth options, with Healthline (0800 611 116) continuing its regular operations. As technology evolves, these telehealth services can serve as a foundation for further innovations.
The introduction of this service signifies a commitment to advancing healthcare through digital innovation, ensuring that even the remotest communities have access to quality healthcare, further solidifying New Zealand’s position at the forefront of telehealth advancements.
Across the world, tech is improving health outcomes and patient experiences. For instance, OpenGov Asia reported that in Indonesia’s healthcare industry, robots are crucial, assisting surgeons in procedures, providing rehabilitation therapies, and even delivering medications to patients. Telesurgical robots offer enhanced skill and precision, minimising invasive procedures and improving patient outcomes.
Similarly, in the U.S., researchers at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago have harnessed the power of machine learning to revolutionise vaccine design. MIT researchers have introduced medical technology advancements, a wearable ultrasound monitor fashioned as a patch, that holds promising implications for individuals with bladder or kidney disorders, offering a more accessible means to monitor organ functionality.
In contemplating the complexities of contemporary youth, Minister Ong Ye Kung engages in a reflective journey, drawing parallels between historical junctures and the pivotal role of today’s young generation in Singapore and China. Addressing a spectrum of challenges, he emphasises the need for adaptive attributes and cultural resonance in steering a promising course toward the future.
Spotlighting the ubiquitous connectivity of modern youth, regardless of geographical boundaries. Minister Ong underlines their profound concern for global issues like mental health, climate change, and social disparities, transcending national confines. Amidst this global awareness, he underscores the practical preoccupations of Asian youth, particularly in Singapore and China, echoing their concerns about job competition, rising living costs, and aspirations for stability, symbolising resilience and adaptability.
Reflecting on historical milestones in the United States, Singapore, and China, Minister Ong delineates the monumental tasks faced by earlier generations of youth. From rebuilding post-war economies to navigating independence and economic reforms, these examples illustrate the transformative potential of youthful vigour and leadership in shaping nations. Education, innovation, and societal cohesion emerge as crucial pillars during these epochs.
A poignant emphasis is placed on the essential attributes needed for the current youth cohort to thrive. Minister Ong advocates for an insatiable curiosity, emphasising continuous learning in the face of rapid technological evolution. He champions the significance of retaining cultural identities amid globalisation while simultaneously assimilating foreign influences, fostering a dynamic cultural landscape. Furthermore, aligning with the imperatives of their generation, youth are urged to embrace pragmatism, collaboration, and global action to address pressing issues like climate change.
Acknowledging the current uncertainties and complexities faced by today’s youth, Minister Ong encourages resilience amidst choice paralysis. Drawing inspiration from young trailblazers and their pursuits, he advocates for proactive endeavours and a sense of purpose, irrespective of the challenges posed by geopolitical tensions or economic shifts. Embracing opportunities for personal growth, language proficiency, global experiences, and cultural exchanges emerge as pivotal strategies for navigating the evolving landscape.
Concluding on an optimistic note, Minister Ong positions today’s youth as pivotal architects of the future. Acknowledging that while he may not qualify as a youth per se, his sentiments align with the youthful spirit characterised by optimism, courage, and a relentless pursuit of positive influence and change. Encouraging a blend of realism and optimism, he urges the young generation to embrace their unique roles in steering societies toward a promising future.
Minister Ong encourages the youth to confront uncertainty, make choices, and pursue passions. The emphasis on strengthening bilingual skills and engaging in global experiences acknowledges the interconnected nature of the modern world, recognising that the potential of the youth transcends borders.
From digital arts to online cultural exchanges, digital platforms offer avenues for preserving and sharing cultural heritage. The younger generation has the potential to seamlessly integrate their cultural identity into the digital realm, contributing to a vibrant and inclusive cultural landscape.
Minister Ong Ye Kung’s comprehensive discourse underscores the intricate web of challenges and opportunities faced by today’s youth. From historical analogies to contemporary realities, his narrative serves as a compelling call to action, emphasising the role of youth in steering societies toward progress, unity, and resilience.
Singapore recognises the need to have comprehensive and inclusive development that engages all segments of its society. In alignment with its focus on adapting to rapid transformations, Minister Chan Chun Sing, echoing sentiments on the evolving landscape, emphasises the need for the business community to discard assumptions about entrenched global systems. His call for a mindset shift resonates with the challenges faced globally, urging adaptation to future uncertainties.
The government is committed to cultivating a globally competitive workforce. This involves significant investment in Singaporeans, coupled with collaborative efforts with trade associations, chambers, business leaders, and academic institutions to expedite the knowledge cycle.
The seventh annual Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit (GIES), a pioneering tech-centric event co-organised by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) was inaugurated at the esteemed Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The global pace of population ageing is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. According to the United Nations, the demographic aged 65 and above is projected to burgeon from 10% of the global populace in 2022 to a staggering 16% by 2050.
This demographic shift is particularly pronounced in Hong Kong, with projections from the Census and Statistics Department indicating that the proportion of elderly individuals will surge from 20.5% in 2021 to a staggering 36% by 2046. This extrapolation signifies that more than one in every three Hong Kong residents will belong to the elderly demographic.
Dr Sunny Chai, Chairman of HKSTP, emphasised the pivotal role of gerontechnology in revolutionising the city’s landscape, stating, “Gerontechnology stands as an indispensable tool in our efforts to craft a smarter and more adaptive urban environment, particularly tailored for our ageing population. With a robust gerontech ecosystem comprising over 70 companies, HKSTP remains steadfast in its commitment to elevate the well-being of the elderly and fortify our healthcare infrastructure through seamless collaborations encompassing governmental bodies, industrial entities, academic institutions, and research sectors.”
GIES has evolved beyond its initial role as a mere platform for gerontechnology awareness. It has transformed into a pivotal nexus for industry stakeholders, facilitating collaborative engagements, policy formulation, and technological advancements crucial for steering Hong Kong’s societal, economic, and technological growth.
Apart from being a stage for innovation, GIES is a networking hub fostering partnerships aimed at enhancing elderly care and fortifying Hong Kong’s status as an elder-friendly city. This year’s edition, spanning from November 23 to 26, boasts an impressive showcase featuring close to 800 innovative solutions curated by over 200 exhibitors, representing a remarkable two-fold increase since its inception in 2017.
Under the overarching theme of “Age Smarter with Hub of Gerontech,” the HKSTP pavilion stands as a testament to innovation and progress, uniting 43 Park companies to showcase breakthrough advancements across seven pivotal categories. These encompass health screening, vital sign monitoring, rehabilitation and cognitive care, fall risk management, service operations, tech-enabled care, and sensory aids.
Occupying a gross floor area of 500 square meters, this year’s HKSTP pavilion represents the most extensive showcase since the inception of GIES in 2017. Notably, the inclusion of seven InnoHK centres, including three from Health@InnoHK and four from AIR@InnoHK, debuting their pioneering gerontech solutions at the adjacent “InnoHK Zone,” further accentuates the depth and breadth of innovation on display.
To immerse attendees in a hands-on experience and actively engage end-users, HKSTP has meticulously curated an interactive zone within its pavilion, themed as “Rehab@Home.” This setting replicates a home environment, showcasing 13 specialized rehabilitation products and solutions designed for seamless integration into domestic settings.
Complementing this experiential zone are the “Gerontech Ambassadors” drawn from physiotherapy students at Tung Wah College and elderly ambassadors from Lingnan University’s “Jockey Club Gerontechnology and Smart Ageing Project.” These ambassadors are stationed to offer firsthand insights and share personal experiences regarding user-friendly solutions.
While advancements in technology, medicine and healthcare offer longer life spans, ageing does have challenges. Hong Kong has been eager to be a more inclusive country and aims to better care for its elderly.
OpenGov Asia reported that the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) showcased the technological achievements within the gerontechnology field through the Jockey Club Smart Ageing Hub Project. Collaboration among experts from various disciplines was facilitated to share their technological advancements and best practices and discuss the future of Hong Kong’s gerontech landscape.
Digital technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace, particularly within education. The rapid evolution of digital tools and platforms has ushered in a transformative era, reshaping the landscape of learning and teaching methodologies. This swift progress is revolutionising how educational content is delivered and fundamentally altering the dynamics of the learning experience.
As countries navigate this swiftly changing digital frontier, it becomes increasingly apparent that these technological advancements are pivotal in redefining the future of education, opening up new possibilities and opportunities for learners and educators alike.
In an era where access to the digital world is essential, where access to the digital realm has become indispensable, the stark reality surfaces: one hundred and twenty thousand Kiwi children need additional home learning devices to establish crucial connections in the realm of education. Recognising the critical need to address this digital divide, a transformative initiative scheme has emerged as a solution, actively working to bridge the digital equity gap and empower students with the necessary technology for their education.
This initiative lies in repurposing and redistributing refurbished ex-lease machines that might otherwise contribute to electronic waste. Since its inception in 2022, the scheme has made strides, donating 400 high-quality ex-lease laptops to needy students. It provides a valuable resource for learning and contributes to the sustainable and responsible use of technology by extending the lifespan of electronic devices.
Rob Downie, the Head of Health and Physical Education at Auckland’s Tangaroa College, witnessed the scheme’s impact. Pupils at Tangaroa College are among the beneficiaries of this initiative, gaining access to learning devices that play a pivotal role in their educational journey. Rob Downie’s perspective sheds light on the tangible benefits that digital inclusion can bring students, creating opportunities for enhanced learning experiences and improved academic outcomes.
At the core of this initiative is a commitment to sustainability, not just in the environmental sense but also in fostering a sustainable and equitable digital future for New Zealand’s youth. “By repurposing and redistributing ex-lease laptops, the scheme aligns with the principles of responsible technology consumption, contributing to a circular economy where resources are utilised efficiently, and electronic waste is minimised,” said Rob.
The scheme operates as a catalyst for change, challenging the status quo and encouraging other entities to explore innovative solutions for digital inclusion. As technology becomes increasingly intertwined with education, bridging the digital divide is not just a matter of access to devices but a fundamental step towards creating equal opportunities for learning and growth.
Rob emphasised the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing the digital equity gap. It includes partnerships with financial institutions, namely private sectors and government entities like Te Puni Kōkiri, showcasing the power of collective action in driving change.
The scheme’s impact extends beyond providing laptops. However, it is a powerful testament to the transformative potential of digital technology when harnessed for the greater good. In an interconnected world where digital literacy is synonymous with empowerment, initiatives like these lay the groundwork for a more inclusive and sustainable future, ensuring that no child is left behind in the digital age.
OpenGov Asia reported that Tāhūrangi, the Ministry of Education’s new online platform for curriculum content, teaching resources, and news, went live recently. Parents and caregivers can access resources and information to help students with their learning. Tāhūrangi’s content aims to encourage effective teaching and learning in various educational contexts. This includes support for the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum (Te Whāriki: He Whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa), Māori-medium schools (Te Marautanga o Aotearoa), and the New Zealand Curriculum. Additionally, the platform plans to expand its offerings to include resources for kindergarten schools (Te Whāriki a Te Kōhanga Reo).
“We know that finding suitable teaching resources is harder for people than it has to be. The new platform is designed to make that experience quicker and easier,” the Ministry of Education said in a statement.