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Vietnam Moving Up the Digital Ladder

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) recently held an event, “Why Vietnam”, on the sidelines of the ITU Digital World 2021, to explore Vietnam’s role and position in the digital era, the digital transformation process, and Vietnam’s post-pandemic measures that have attracted domestic and international attention.

Vietnam on the world map

According to a press release by MIC, although there are many countries in the world bigger than Vietnam in terms of area, Vietnam has a large population and a GDP that ranks 40th in the world and 4th in ASEAN. In the field of information technology (IT), the country has surpassed many IT powerhouses. It ranks 2nd in the world for manufacturing and exporting phones, accounting for 13.3% of the world market in 2019. Vietnam ranks 9th in the world regarding electronics exports and outsourcing. Online game production is also growing, and the country currently ranks 6th globally in the field of computer games.

E-commerce, 5G technology, and the digital transformation process amid COVID-19

The event explored the policies that Vietnam needs to prioritise in e-commerce, including policies to support small and medium enterprises, giving them digital skills and a better capacity to understand the requirements of the market to adjust their production. It is necessary to have policies to encourage the development of Vietnam’s logistics system. The country also plays an important role in the value chain of the global technology industry. Vietnam is one of the first countries, both in the region and the world, to test and deploy 5G. Industry analysts lauded the government’s 5G development plan, and the network infrastructure is critical to promote innovation and help Vietnamese companies grow.

Experts also discussed the role of technology in the fight against COVID-19 and its increasingly essential uses in disease prevention and economic recovery. Government healthcare management agencies use tracking technologies to control the transmission of the virus, and apps to alert people about their exposure to people infected. Edge technologies have facilitated healthcare solutions. E-commerce and digital payments have also helped limit physical contact, people can order goods and wait for suppliers to bring them directly to their homes. For economic recovery, e-commerce will help businesses, cooperatives, and households diversify their sales channels. They can sell goods online and reach new, larger, and more diverse markets.

The press release informed that around 75% of businesses have had to upgrade their network infrastructure for employees to work from home. New technologies such as WiFi Mesh, WiFi 6, and 5G have been strongly applied during the pandemic. Currently, the world has about 160 operators deploying 5G commercially. The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the application of technology, specifically mobile technology. 5G technology is being deployed twice as fast as 4G technology.

Even as the world recovers from the epidemic, digital transformation activities will become the new normal. Currently, the logistics cost in Vietnam is very high. Organisations and the government can use 5G to increase the efficiency of warehouse use and reduce costs. In terms of production, with low latency, Vietnam can use 5G to build smart factory solutions. Overall, to recover the economy, the early and wide deployment of 5G in Vietnam is a vital step.

Last year, the government issued the National Digital Transformation Programme to 2025, with a vision to 2030. It aims to develop a digital government, economy, society, as well as form Vietnamese digital technology enterprises capable of going global. The press release stated that the main point of the programme is that awareness plays a decisive role in digital transformation. People are at the heart of digital transformation and Institutions are the driving force. Developing digital platforms is a breakthrough solution to accelerate digital transformation, reduce costs, and increase efficiency.

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