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Vietnam Unveils Chip-Based ID Cards for Citizens

Driver’s license, social insurance, and COVID-19 vaccination certificate are among the documents to be incorporated into the new chip-based ID cards, the Ministry of Public Security’s police department for administrative management of social order has stated.

The department is working with the Ministry of Transport and Vietnam Social Security with the move, aiming to help the cards replace a series of documents, limiting the use of paper. This will facilitate the process of administrative procedures and other transactions by citizens as well as strengthen COVID-19 prevention and control. According to a news report, under the Law on Citizen Identification in 2014, people from 14 years of age can obtain an ID card, which is then renewed when they turn 25, 40, and 60. By the end of September, the Ministry of Public Security had issued about 45 million chip-based ID cards, each consisting of a QR code on the front and a machine-readable zone on its back.

Vietnam has been pushing to implement emerging technologies in public services to boost digital transformation. OpenGov Asia reported earlier that Vietnam will need to do more if it wants to become a digital powerhouse as envisioned in the socio-economic development strategy adopted by the Party in February 2021. A biannual update on Vietnam’s economic performance showed that the country needs to ensure the development of a digitally skilled labour force, the emergence of a dynamic and agile local private sector, and good but secure access to information.

The National Digital Transformation Programme to 2025, which was released in June 2020, set the target of turning Vietnam into a digital, stable, and prosperous country that pioneers in testing new technologies and models. It will fundamentally and comprehensively renovate government management and administration activities. It aims to modernise business production and develop a safe, humane, and wide digital environment by 2030.

The National Digital Transformation Programme intends to create a digital government, economy, and society, as well as form Vietnamese digital technology enterprises that are capable of competing in global markets. Vietnam aims to be among the top 50 countries in the ICT Development Index as early as 2025, and its digital economy is hoped to account for one-third of the country’s GDP by the end of the decade, instead of only 5%. To achieve this, Vietnam must upgrade infrastructure, encourage the application of digital technology, and attract investment to create conditions for small businesses to participate in the digital economy. Vietnam also needs to equip workers with digital skills to help them become more dynamic in adapting to new technologies.

Vietnam is among the countries with the fastest-growing digital economies in Southeast Asia. By 2025, the Vietnam digital economy’s compound annual growth rate is forecast to reach 29%, followed by Thailand at 25%, and Malaysia and Singapore at 21%. Experts have noted that laptops and tablets in Vietnam hold the potential of strong growth thanks to the work-from-home trend and online schooling till the end of the first academic year. They added that the mobile phone market will rebound in the fourth quarter thanks to the re-opening of retail outlets nationwide, pent-up demand following lockdown, and the launch of new products during peak season.

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