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Vietnam Ranks 63rd in Global Index of Digital Entrepreneurship Systems

Vietnam has ranked 63rd out of 113 global economies in a global ranking of digital environments and support systems for entrepreneurs, according to a new index developed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Released earlier, the Global Index of Digital Entrepreneurship Systems (GIDES) puts Singapore in the first place, followed by the United States and Sweden. In Asia, Indonesia ranked 71st, India ranked 75th, and the Philippines ranked 79th. 17 of the 21 developing Asian economies included are ranked toward the bottom, underscoring the need for these economies to nurture digital entrepreneurship.

Experts have noted that digital entrepreneurship helped economies stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it can become a major engine of growth and innovation in the post-pandemic world. For this to happen, there needs to be a supportive environment enabled by conducive policies and incentives. While the environment for Asia’s digital entrepreneurs made substantial strides in the past couple of years, there’s still a lot of room for improvement.

The index measures the quality of the environment for digital entrepreneurs by looking at the level of digitalisation in eight areas: culture, institutions, market conditions, infrastructure, human capital, knowledge, finance, and networking.

In addition to investing in digital infrastructure such as broadband networks, governments need to promote political stability, reliable legal systems, open and competitive markets, and strong property rights. For Asia and the Pacific as a whole, the lack of a supportive culture is among the biggest weak spots when it comes to nurturing digital entrepreneurship. For example, there is a general lack of public appreciation for the vital role that entrepreneurs play in economic progress. One way to change this is to improve the public perception of entrepreneurship through education.

In February, MIC proposed to replace the programme ‘Developing the IT and Electronics-Telecoms Industries until 2025’ with the project ‘Strategies to Develop the Digital Technology Industry in Vietnam until 2025’. This was considered a critical change to create sufficiently skilled human resources in the digital technology field, encouraging breakthroughs in the industry, as OpenGov Asia had reported. Under the plan, over the next few years, the Ministry will focus on developing a digital technology business ecosystem and upgrading the quality of human resources in the field. It plans to update and implement the skill standards for digital human resources and maintain the 6-6.5% contribution of digital technology businesses to the GDP.

MIC statistics reveal that in 2021, Vietnam had 64,000 digital technology enterprises (a rise of 5,600 units compared to 2020) and introduced several new made-in-Vietnam ICT products. The revenues of the ICT industry last year reached US$136.2 billion, 13.8% of which belonged to Vietnamese companies (US$18.78 billion). In 2022, MIC aims to increase the total quantity of digital technology businesses in Vietnam to 70,000 and the total revenues in the IT telecoms industry to US$148.5 billion, with an IT revenue growth rate of 9.2% and a state budget contribution of US$3 billion.

The country plans to have 100,000 digital technology firms by 2025 and have at least ten firms compete in global markets. It also wants to have 10 localities with revenues of over US$1 billion from ICT and 10-12 IT zones.

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