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Vietnam launches tech summit and international expo

Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

The Industry 4.0 Summit 2019 and international exposition was launched in Hanoi, earlier this week.

Over 2,500 government leaders and representatives from embassies, international organisations, localities, and businesses attended the event.

It was jointly organised by the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the State Bank of Vietnam, and other relevant ministries.

During the event, the head of the Economic Commission said that digital technology has made significant changes to almost every sector, including production, business, social life, national defence, and security.

According to an official press release, over 40 countries and territories globally, including those from developing nations, have issued strategies and action plans relating to the impending wave of Industry 4.0 technology.

This can be seen as several countries have developed and implemented a National Digital Transformation Strategy – one of the core contents of Industry 4.0.

The Vietnamese government released the National Digital Transformation Project earlier this year. It shows that digital transformation deeply impacts structure and relationships in the global economy. Replacing manual labour with automation, capital with knowledge and data, and changing consumption habits as well as the behaviour of society.

The project sets specific objectives. They are:

  • By 2030, Vietnam’s digital economy should grow 20% per year.
  • It should be one of the top 20 countries in the world and the top three in ASEAN in the global and regional competitiveness index, respectively.
  • It should be on the list of top 50 e-government countries.
  • Labour productivity should increase by 8-10% per year.

According to a report released in 2017, the impact of digital transformation in the Asia-Pacific region was an increase of about 6% in its GDP. The figure is expected to be 25% this year and 60% by 2021.

Research shows that digital transformation also increased labour productivity by 15% in 2017, which is expected to be 21% by 2020.

Several domestic and international researchers have predicted that embracing changes caused by Industry 4.0 will have a positive effect on Vietnam’s future economic growth.

The country has built a relatively synchronous telecommunication infrastructure with mobile coverage currently reaching 99.7% of the population, of which 3G and 4G coverage areas at a low-cost reach 98%.

Additionally, 5G networks have been granted licenses to experiment and are expected to be commercially deployed in the market by 2020.

The digital economy has also benefited from the rapid development and has become a crucial part of the nation’s overall economy. This has led to Vietnam being ranked third in the ASEAN region in terms of scale, largely down to digital technology being applied in the industrial, agricultural, and service sectors.

Most notably, there has been an emergence of digital and internet-based business models and services that have generated jobs, increased income, and improved the overall quality of life for residents. The developments in the creation of an e-government have also been implemented effectively and had positive outcomes.

Last year, the country’s e-government development index ranked 88th out of 193 countries, of which the online public services index jumped 10 places to rank 59th out of 193 countries in comparison to 2016.

Despite this, the nation’s active participation in Industry 4.0 remains low due to inadequate institutions and policies. There are currently no legal mechanisms in place for a digital economy, or the pilot implementation of new Industry 4.0 products, business models, or services.

The country has yet to develop a national standard system to be applied when developing Industry 4.0 technologies.

It is essential to clarify the specific mechanisms, policies, and recommendations towards the effective implementation of the Politburo’s guidelines on Industry 4.0.

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