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Initiatives to drive Vietnam’s digital goals

Vietnam has been eager to reinvent itself and key among its strategies is their digital transformation. It has set itself targets on digital technology development to enter the group of leading countries in the world in digital technology-related indexes. For over a decade, science, technology and digital innovation have had a significant role in the development of Vietnam. The nation continues to invest in research and development with most of the funding going to public sector agencies and institutes.

A report predicts that due to its strong fundamentals, and given increasing handling of the pandemic both in Vietnam and the world, the Vietnamese economy should rebound in 2021. COVID-19 has also shown the necessity for stronger reforms to help the economy recover in the medium term, such as improving business environment, promoting the digital economy, and enhancing public investment effectiveness and efficiency, which are some of the key agendas for Vietnam to consider stronger and faster reform actions.

Early in December 2020, the Ministry of Planning and Investment in coordination with the US Agency for International Development announced the “digital transformation business support programme for the period 2021-2025”. Under the programme announced, by 2025 at least 100,000 businesses will receive technical support for digital transformation, by the Ministry of Planning and Investment. This is in line with implementing the Prime Minister’s direction in Decision No. 749 / QD-TTg approving the “National Digital Transformation Program to 2025, with an orientation to 2030”.

The country has had a strategic focus on specific pillars that it feels will to best help its digital ecosystem. These encompass reforming the management and operational mechanisms of organisations involved in the science and technology sector. The nation also plans to increase state expenditure and prioritising national S&T initiatives and products, including promoting firms investing in S&T development.

Legal and policy frameworks are also seen as catalysts and critical to encouraging international investment and developing the market. Combing the development of a strong S&T national market with the robust laws on intellectual property, ease-of-doing-business and investments will boost technology R&D and encourage innovation.

Enhancing the international integration of Vietnamese science and technology products and services. With the “Make in Vietnam” foundation,  Vietnams is looking to shift from assembling and processing to creating and designing Vietnamese digital products. Businesses are being encouraged to be more creative, mobilising Vietnamese intelligence to and design solutions that address problems of Vietnam.

Through the “Make in Vietnam” strategy, Vietnam will improve the quality of growth, build an autonomous economy and participate more deeply in the global value chain. This approach will help Vietnam soon realise the goal to become a modern industrialised country.

According to the report “Southeast Asia’s Digital Economy 2019”, Vietnam’s digital economy was valued at $12 billion in 2019. Over the past 5 years, Vietnam’s e-commerce market grew by over 25% per year. Vietnam’s digital economy is forecasted to contribute 5% to the country’s GDP and is expected to reach $43 billion by 2025.

The Prime Minister has recently issued the National Technology Innovation Programme up to 2030. The programme aims to facilitate and support enterprises to transfer, innovate and perfect technologies, create high-quality products with high added value; promote the transfer of technologies for agricultural development in rural and mountainous areas and regions; and train scientific and technological human resources for technology transfer, renewal and improvement.

The specific target is that by 2025, the number of enterprises implementing technology innovation will increase by an average of 15% per year; and 100% of enterprises producing key products will directly participate in the programme to form research and development organisations. There are 3-5 key product industries that own or create advanced technologies in the value chain to produce products with high added value and competitiveness in the market.

OpenGov Asia recently reported that the country’s development goals for the next period – the aspiration of turning Vietnam into a powerful and prosperous country by 2045 – was shared at the 13th National Party Congress. With ambitions to become a powerhouse in over the next quarter-century, Vietnam aims to have a steady and increasing GDP growth for the next 25 years. This, the nation’s leaders feel will only be possible with a robust digital transformation strategy.

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