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Vietnam Approves Digital Economy Development Strategy

Deputy Prime Minister, Vu Duc Dam, recently signed a decision approving the national strategy for its digital economy and society development through 2025, with orientations to 2030. The plan aims to drive the country to overcome the status of a low-middle-income country by 2025, become an upper-middle-income country by 2030, and a high-income country by 2045, according to a statement by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).

The government assigned MIC to take prime responsibility for accelerating the development of the digital economy. The Ministry has also been tasked to direct and aid other ministries, agencies, and localities in implementing the strategy and annually update the Prime Minister with reports on their performances. Vietnam has set a target to increase the gross domestic product (GDP) share of the digital economy to 20% by 2025, according to a resolution passed by Politburo on guidelines for participation in the fourth industrial revolution.

The strategy identifies institutions, infrastructure, human resources, and businesses that play important roles in the development of the digital economy and society. The strategy sets out 17 groups of tasks and 8 groups of solutions, to help boost the penetration of digital technology and data into all aspects of business production, government operations, and people’s lives. A report noted the post-pandemic scenario presents opportunities that Vietnam needs to quickly seize. It must make concerted efforts to develop new business lines, open up new markets, and create more new jobs. The task of developing the digital economy and society is a top priority in most of the country’s development strategies. Creating a robust digital society is also expected to make people happier, participate in more comprehensive social activities, and enjoy more favourable social security policies, contributing to making Vietnam a safe, humane, and digital country.

A report from 2019 showed that Vietnam’s digital economy could be valued at US$43 billion by 2025. The country is one of the two fastest-growing digital economies in Southeast Asia, with average growth rates in excess of 40% since 2015, in which e-commerce is a key driver behind the remarkable numbers. These dynamics are unlocking opportunities for entrepreneurial Vietnamese small and medium-sized businesses, which have shifted online to do business.

Vietnam is expected to be the fastest-growing e-commerce market in Southeast Asia by 2026, with e-commerce gross merchandise value (GMV) reaching US$56 billion by 2026, 4.5 times the estimated value of 2021. The revenues of the ICT industry last year reached US$136.2 billion, 13.8% of which belonged to Vietnamese companies (US$18.78 billion). In 2022, MIC aims to increase the total quantity of digital technology businesses in Vietnam to 70,000.

Recently, the country announced it would support local businesses with tech innovation. Over the next five to ten years, the Ministry of Science and Technology will adjust national science and technology tasks and programmes to adapt to companies’ needs for technological innovation. The National Technology Innovation Fund and the National Foundation for Science and Technology Development will be crucial components of the project.

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