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Vietnam digital ecosystem and transformation well on track

The consensus of participants at the National Forum on Developing Vietnam’s Digital Enterprises was unanimous in their agreement that Vietnam’s digital tech firms have been successful of late, with 2020 witnessing the rapid growth of the national tech sector.

This massive community had estimated revenue of $120 billion in 2020 and is a critical driving force for the digital transformation process of the country. Currently, there are 58,000 digital technology firms, which have created over 1 million jobs.

Vietnam’s technology firms have also shown their increasing influence on the country’s social and economic life. In a letter to digital technology firms, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc acknowledged that the Vietnamese business community and digital technology have been vital in ensuring the wellbeing of the nation both for the economy as well as for citizens to live a productive, safe and sustainable life.

Minister of Information and Communications, Nguyen Manh Hung, agreed that Vietnam’s digital tech firms showed their capability when quickly developing tech solutions in containing the pandemic. Online learning and remote health examination platforms – Ncovi, Bluezone and CoMeet – all helped Vietnam both manage COVID-19 and sustain the economy.

Be, a Make in Vietnam ride-hailing app, jumped to the second position in the ride-hailing market by June 2019, though it was only set up in 2018. To date, the app has had over 10 million downloads, is present in 10 cities/provinces and has created jobs for 100,000 drivers. More than a ride-hailing app, it is an open ecosystem with features in logistics, transportation, public transport, finance and tourism. It also aims to become a digital bank.

Base.vn, a startup which had five workers in 2016 when it was established, now owns a series of open platforms with 50 specific apps that help digitise many companies and organizations in Vietnam. Half of the 100 ASEAN Outstanding Enterprise of Vietnam 2020 are clients of the company.

Truong Quoc Hung, CEO of VinBrain, one of the world’s leaders in AI, has a more ambitious dream of turning Vietnam into an AI powerhouse by solving the problems of 7.4 billion people around the world.

DrAid, the first AI-based in the healthcare sector developed by Vietnamese, has been set up. It is being used by over 350 physicians with more than 100,000 medical images uploaded every month.

Vietnam ranked 55th in digital transformation with 41 points in the Global Connectivity Index (GCI 2020). Since 2015, the Global Connectivity Index has tracked the progress of 79 economies in deploying digital infrastructure and capabilities.

This year’s index benchmarks 79 countries according to their performance in 40 indicators that track the impact of ICT on a nation’s economy, digital competitiveness and future growth. Combined, these countries account for 95% of global GDP.

Starters are proactively catching up with the other clusters. The average scores of all three clusters have improved since 2015, with Starters showing the highest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) with 4.95%, followed by Adopters (4.58%) and Frontrunners (3.38%). Vietnam is one of the countries becoming adopter economies last year.

Economies with higher ICT maturity could drive digital transformation to respond quicker to the COVID-19 pandemic, mitigating the negative impact on GDP per capita by 50%. They also could deploy digital tools and services to mitigate the impact of lockdowns and social distancing. Due to the availability of high-speed broadband, cloud services, AI, and IoT solutions, they quickly implemented distributed workforce models, migrate to e-commerce platforms and digitally transform their operations to maintain business continuity.

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 quarter-century. This, the nation’s leaders feel will only be possible with a robust digital transformation strategy. OpenGov Asia reported on Vietnam’s plans to grow the nation’s GDP by 7.5%-8% annually in the next 25 years.

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