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Vietnam Accelerates Smart City Building

The Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) government has signed an agreement with the state-run Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT). They will collaborate to deploy a series of digital transformation projects for the 2022-2025 period, toward building a sustainable smart city.

The cooperation is aimed at speeding up the city’s digital transformation, developing e-governance, and bolstering the digital economy. A signing ceremony was held last week. Addressing the event, HCMC Chairman, Phan Van Mai, said the city aims to see the digital economy contribute some 25% to its gross regional domestic product by 2025. The partnership with VNPT is expected to accelerate digital transformation and develop HCMC into a smart city.

Under the deal, the two sides will closely cooperate to build digital infrastructure and platforms, ensure cybersecurity, and ramp up information technology manpower for HCMC. Regarding e-governance development, VNPT will establish data systems for various fields so that HCMC can “develop a big data source,” a press release stated.

Further, apart from forming a smart monitoring system for the municipal government, VNPT will upgrade communication channels between the authorities, residents, and businesses. VNPT will join hands with the HCMC Cybersecurity Centre and the Municipal Department of Information and Communications to adopt cybersecurity solutions to protect the city government’s data systems.

To speed up the city’s digital economic development, the group will employ several digital solutions to boost HCMC’s spearhead sectors such as commerce, logistics, and transport. VNPT pledged to develop mobile telecom infrastructure and provide the city with fast broadband to create a firm foundation for the digital transformation of industries.

Last month, HCMC announced it would coordinate with a global financial institution to develop a data management strategy, aiming to better cultivate data for government operations. The Deputy Director of the Municipal Department of Information and Communications, Vo Thi Trung Trinh, stated that the strategy identifies a vision, specific goals, priority areas, and plans for the implementation of data and digitisation projects to improve the city’s data-driven governance. As OpenGov Asia reported, Trinh was speaking at a conference on building a data strategic vision for HCMC hosted by the department and institution. She said that the two sides have completed a survey and assessment of the current status of data and data usage needs of local state regulators, with focus placed on three areas: urban planning, citizens’ information, and economic and financial development.

The conference provided the city with an opportunity to receive consultation and recommendations put forth by experts to accelerate digital transformation and strengthen data management. It also offered a platform for local departments, administrations, industry associations, and state-owned enterprises to speak about how data can be used to support its management, Thi Trinh added.

In its digital transformation journey, the country envisions the development of smart cities and provinces, and HCMC is among the top cities in terms of digitisation. In the 2021 Digital Transformation Index (DTI), the city climbed two spots to rank third, after Da Nang and Thien-Hue.

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