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Vietnamese government prioritises digital technology

Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), in a press release, recently said that digital technology will be key for Vietnam to grow into a powerful nation with a thriving economy over the next quarter of a century.

At a recent meeting with key members of the local IT community, the MIC Minister highlighted businesses’ decisive role in Vietnam’s journey to achieving its ambitious growth goals.

He outlined that digital transformation could bring enormous opportunities for the country, with sweeping changes across the board for every business, organisation, and citizen.

Vietnamese IT businesses must be the nucleus of the digital transformation process, as market and management expertise has been shifting into industry and technology.

Next will be well-established IT businesses that have been operating in the field for one or two decades but are mainly engaged in assembling and processing. They need to focus on creating Vietnamese-made products, reducing the country’s dependence on imports.

The foundation of digital operations

Vietnam expects to grow into an industrialised nation with prosperous development by 2045 when the country will celebrate its centenary of gaining independence.

Businesses, both private and state-owned will lead the development.

In the press domain, for 15 years now, many media print agencies want to realise digital transformation dreams but have failed, the Minister said.

As a late bloomer in IT applications, more than half of the revenue of Vietnam’s communications industry has fallen into the hands of foreign players. For example, a local IT company, Yeah1, has invested in a digital platform for media agencies that launched last July.

The Minister also cited the example of Misa, an IT firm on accounting software. This company has built up a platform in both software and human resources in order to provide accounting services to micro, small- and medium-sized businesses.

This will help them smooth their accounting work, while simultaneously encouraging private trading households to shift into business as they no longer need to hire accountants, which is difficult in rural and remote areas.

Creating a new style

Regarding the digital ecosystem for the Vietnamese, it is now time to adopt a new approach towards social networking sites. And users of the sites should have a share of the value these sites have created. In other words, users are the game-changers whose rights are also protected, the Minister noted.

He added that networking sites need to respect basic ethical values while abiding by the country’s laws. These new social requirements have opened spaces for the development of new sites and new search tools for a modern ecosystem.

IT businesses and Vietnamese start-ups have been working to develop new ecosystems with fresh philosophies and business models, he explained.

Apart from Facebook, Zalo is one of the most-used social media networks in the country. With a large focus on privacy, faster local use, and an effective messenger function. The Minister claimed it has become a strong template for other domestic groups to emulate or surpass.

Other apps such as travel-focused Astra, which launched in September, is attempting to lure users through an innovative rewards system for posting travel reviews.

But this is not enough, the Minister said, if the country wants to reach government goals. By 2022, the MIC aims to seize 60-70% of the local advertising market for domestic social networks.

Thus, he added, it is time to form a new social networking site, with more customer-centric search tools.

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