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Vietnam, Japan host online seminar on digital governance

Image credit: Nhan Dan

The Vietnamese Government Office and the Embassy of Japan in Vietnam recently co-hosted an online seminar in Hanoi, which shared Japan’s experiences and policies to promote e-government, towards a digital government.

The event virtually brought together experts from Japan and 23 cities and provinces in Vietnam. It was chaired by the Minister and Chairman of the Vietnamese Government Office, Mai Tien Dung, and the Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam, Takio Yamada.

Addressing the seminar, Dung said it is the third event of this kind and forms part of Japan’s activities to support Vietnam in building e-government. In the context of social distancing measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, the use of information technology (IT), artificial intelligence (AI), and digital technologies is crucial to sustain the normal functioning of the Vietnamese economy.

During the event, specialists from Japan discussed Suga’s new policies in developing digital government and shared experience in digitalising public services as well as formulating policies for the application of AI.

Vietnam has developed and operated a number of the e-government’s key information and database systems, which have not only promoted a new way of working at governmental units but also facilitated the delivery of online public services to businesses and people, he said.

These systems have allowed society to save up to about VND9.8 trillion (US$426 million), in expenditure annually. The Minister further noted that such success would not be possible without the help of the government of Japan through the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam, Japan’s Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

E-government development must ensure a close connection between IT application, public administrative reforms, and improvement in transparency and publicity. The satisfaction of people and businesses is among key factors to measure the e-government building.

Ambassador Yamada highlighted the significance of e-government and digital government at the time of COVID-19, saying the use of digital technologies at many administrative bodies in Vietnam enables the delivery of a variety of online public services with added values and no direct contact.

He said he is impressed by Vietnam’s proactive response to the pandemic with the quick rollout of a contact-tracing app NCOVI. E-government is also one of the top priorities of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. The Japanese government will continue adopting more cooperation programmes to assist Vietnam’s reforms in the coming time.

In 2019, the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) held the first joint coordination committee meeting on information security.

OpenGov Asia reported on the event, during which the two sides decided to strengthen support for a project that raises awareness about information security and law enforcement capacities for the same in Vietnam. Around the world, network security is the most important problem while digitalising and implementing e-government that creates a digital economy.

Over the last few years, MIC’s cybersecurity units have worked closely with Japan and shared their experiences. At the meeting, the two sides discussed the project implementation progress and exchanged ideas and technology solutions.

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