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Vietnam’s Programme for SME Digital Transformation Witnesses Rapid Growth

The number of small and medium-sized businesses accessing and using platforms under the SMEdx programme to support small and medium enterprises in digital transformation has increased, according to a recent press release.

To promote digital transformation and develop the digital economy, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) assessed and selected several digital platforms to participate in SMEdx. MIC selected 45 Made-in-Vietnam digital platforms from 27 enterprises to participate in the programme. By 30 September, SMEdx had about 490,923 small and medium-sized businesses accessing and experiencing the digital platforms of the programme.

In the first six months of 2022 alone, more than 318,000 small and medium-sized enterprises participated in the SMEdx digital transformation program, an increase of 760% compared to 2021.  In September 2022, the whole country had 62,047 enterprises officially using SMEdx platforms, an increase of more than 20 times compared to that of March 2022 with 3,000 enterprises.

The release mentioned that with the national digital platform development programme, so far, MIC has received registrations from 24 businesses with 184 digital platforms, reaching all 35 platforms under the national digital platform programme. Out of the figure, 26 platforms were approved by the ministry in charge of deployment. Nine platforms have not yet approved the implementation plan.

MIC said that in the fourth quarter of 2022, they would develop more digital platforms, build the digital government, and foster digital economic growth. MIC will also focus on bringing activities of people and businesses to the digital environment under the programme to promote the development and use of national digital platforms, the release noted.

In August, Vietnamese’s use of domestic digital platforms recorded a year-on-year rise of 23.5%, with 494 million users. As OpenGov Asia reported, Vietnamese citizens spent more than 934 million hours on local platforms, making up 13.77% of the total time they spent on all digital platforms. On average, smartphone users spent 9.93 hours on Vietnamese digital platforms in August, up 11.44% from July and 4.67% from January this year. Five local platforms reported more than 10 million users monthly.

Digital platform users on mobile devices have been on the rise as the number of new app downloads hit about 312 million, surging 19% compared to that in July. With this momentum, Vietnam is projected to maintain 7th place in the number of new app downloads globally.

As the use of digital platforms becomes more widespread, the government has taken steps to ramp up safety measures. It released the national cybersecurity strategy to safeguard digital infrastructure, platforms, data, and national cyberinfrastructure.

The government said it would protect the information systems of state agencies as well as crucial sectors that need to be prioritised to ensure information security. The country plans to foster digital trust and build an honest, civilized, and healthy network environment. It will prevent and combat law violations in cyberspace and enhance technological mastery and autonomy to actively cope with cyberspace challenges. The government will train and develop human resources in cybersecurity, raise awareness about cybersecurity skills, and work to secure funding to implement cybersecurity initiatives. The strategy also aims to improve national prestige and foster international integration.

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