February 21, 2024

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Vietnam Debates New Draft Amended Law on Electronic Transactions

The Minister of Information and Communication (MIC), Nguyen Manh Hung, recently presented a legal draft to amend the Law on Electronic Transactions to the National Assembly (NA). The draft is made up of eight chapters and 58 articles. It was created in line with the nine policies specified in the governmental Resolution 152.

It expands the scope of the Law to include e-signatures, e-certificates, and the conversion between paper-based documentation and data messages. It also legally recognises electronic transactions and includes new cybersecurity and data security regulations. Hung noted that the introduction of e-certificates will act as a catalyst for the widespread use of electronic transactions in all sectors across the board.

The National Assembly’s review of the law

NA’s Science, Technology and Environment Committee agreed largely with the draft. According to the Chairman, Le Quang Huy, it worked consistently with free trade agreements of which the country is a member. However, the draft had not fully covered the notion of ‘data message’ specified by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law in 1996. Therefore, the draft will be revised to ensure its compatibility with international agreements.

Huy also concurred with expanding the legal scope but was concerned that the draft’s scope might not be comprehensive enough. He called for a revision of Article 2 to ensure no potential subjects would fall out of the scope. Regarding Articles 10 and 11, he asked for further clarification on the definition of ‘electronic document’ and the validity of data messages to ensure the articles accord with the Law on Notarisation.

He underscored Article 14, which requires an identity between paper-based documentation and their correspondent data messages, as a legal burden for commercial banks because the banks, in most cases, are not issuers or holders of the documentation. Article 14 also stipulates that data messages must be signed with e-signatures if their correspondent paper-based documentation has been signed manually. Huy believed such a stipulation would be impractical as it was not easy for banks to request additional e-signatures from their clients once they had signed their documentation manually.

Under Article 14, the conversion between paper-based documentation and data messages requires the signatures and seals of the converting organisations to be considered valid. Such a requirement was unnecessary and would add time to the process, according to Huy. The conversion from data messages into paper-based documentation is restricted to bank clients rather than banks themselves. He called for banks to be eligible for the conversion similarly to their clients.

Under its digital transformation strategy, the government is boosting the use of digital signatures and electronic documents. In June, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) created the necessary legal framework for the authentication of electronic contracts (e-contracts) in the country. It has also granted operating licences to authenticators.

As OpenGov Asia reported, traditional contracts involve paper and printing and transfer costs. The paperless method could save around VND 30,000-VND 80,000 (US$ 1.3-US $3.5) on each contract. In contrast to traditional contracts, which cannot be authorised in the absence of signers, e-contracts can be signed anytime and anywhere, adding flexibility to the contract-making process, and saving time. Third parties, including banks and the authorities, can rely on the authenticated electronic versions of a contract to validate its origin, cutting time off the verification process and curbing forged documents.

The country has enjoyed success in its digital transformation efforts and is well-placed to be a significant digital destination in the region. To promote digital transformation and develop the digital economy, the Ministry of Information and Communications assessed and selected several digital platforms to participate in the SMEdx programme.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

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SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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