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Vietnamese national strategy focuses on digital government

From 2021, Vietnam plans to provide digital transformation ranking to ministries and provinces each year, measuring the extent to which national and local authorities have developed online activities in all areas of the society and economy.

The country’s administration is prioritising e-government as a central pillar of its ambitious national digital transformation strategy to increase digital infrastructure, solutions, and capacity in the government, industry, and society.

The aim is to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with every branch of government operating in a digital technology environment. Two important national databases will digitise information about the population and land, enabling e-identification and authentication to be in place by the end of 2021.

Other measures include capacity development and digital skills training for both government and businesses. Vietnam is set to rank among the top four ASEAN countries on the United Nations (UN) e-government rankings by 2030 – and among the top 70 worldwide.

With a population of about 100 million and a consistent GDP growth rate of around 7% over the past 30 years, Vietnam is rapidly digitising its infrastructure. The national broadband rollout and 4G/5G deployment are keys to digital transformation and international economic competitiveness.

Starting in major urban centres such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, affordable 5G will be critical in building smart cities and powering the fourth industrial revolution to increase economic growth, generate jobs, and work towards achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Scientific and technological innovation, including new applications like artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR), underlie this strategy. They are dependent on international cooperation in research, development, and the transfer of new technologies and commercial models in Vietnam.

According to a press release, all of this will be on display at ITU Virtual Digital World 2020. It is an online three-day event from 20 to 22 October. The first-ever virtual event from ITU Telecom, Virtual Digital World 2020 will build the foundations for the next physical event, ITU Digital World 2021 in Hanoi, next year.

Vietnam has hosted high-level virtual conferences before, including the online 36th ASEAN Summit earlier this year. The focus was on cooperation and unity in recovering from the health, social, and economic impact of the pandemic – a theme expected to underpin discussions at ITU Virtual Digital World 2020.

This October, the emphasis will be on how national digital strategies have changed or are changing in the era of COVID-19. The critical importance of digital technologies to governments, economies, society, and individual lives has never been clearer, and neither has the digital inequality gap, the release stated.

The event will explore questions that will be discussed during the roundtables and forum debates, including:

  • How can governments and private sector players work together with the help of the international community to invest in network deployment, redirect resources and refocus strategies to close the digital divide?
  • Which new or emerging technologies might be the most cost-effective or fit-for-purpose?
  • Will the pandemic stimulate sufficient demand, or are other demand-side initiatives needed – and who should then take the lead on developing them?
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