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Viettel to Lead Vietnam’s Digital Transformation

Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chinh has proposed that the military-run industry and telecommunications group Viettel lead the country’s digital transformation process. At a recent working session with the group’s leaders in Hanoi, Chinh asked the group to study and produce electronic chips, build a national database, and enhance telecommunications security and safety.

The group was also urged to continue to invest in strategic telecommunications infrastructure, remote sensing, logistics, and e-commerce. It will actively participate in energy transition and the development of clean energy. The Prime Minister instructed the group to make greater efforts to promote socio-economic development and an independent, self-reliant economy with active and effective international integration.

According to Chinh, the firm has effectively transformed from a military unit into a “dual-use” unit with great contributions to the state budget. It has fostered the development and application of science and technology in the country, especially in forming a cybersecurity industry, which has ensured the safe development of a digital government, economy, and society.

Viettel’s successes are a testament to the successful formation and development of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) during the ‘Doi moi’ (renewal) process of the country. The Viettel Chairman and General Director stated that the group had extended its operations in 10 countries with average revenue of nearly VN Đ150 trillion (US $6.4 billion) per year.

In the first seven months of 2022, the group’s consolidated revenue and pre-tax profit hit VN Đ92.9 trillion (nearly US $3.97 billion) and VN Đ31.2 trillion (US $1.3 billion, equivalent to 56.7% and 73.6% of the plans set for the year, respectively. The group contributed VN Đ24.3 trillion (about US $1 billion) to the state budget, equal to 64.8% of the yearly plan.

Viettel was the most influential Vietnamese enterprise in terms of innovation in South Asia and Southeast Asia in 2021. It also ranked first among the top 50 most valuable brands in Vietnam. The group has made active contributions to social security work, focusing on education, healthcare, and poverty reduction. It has so far contributed about VN Đ15 trillion (US $640 million) to social responsibility activities.

The group proposed several policies to the Prime Minister and government ministries/agencies, which would help it continue to develop high-end products, green energy, and important infrastructure projects. At the working session, participants suggested that apart from the development of high technology products and clean energy, the group should work with the software industry.

In April, Viettel announced a plan to build the largest data centre in Vietnam with a total investment of VN Đ6 trillion (approximately US $261 million). The project was invested in the Hoc Mon and Cu Chi districts of Ho Chi Minh City. Viettel worked alongside the two districts to promote the digital transformation of infrastructure, governance, the economy, and society. The group also stated that by 2025, it aims to have invested in 4G and 5G infrastructure that covers broadband services for the entire population and fibre optic infrastructure for every household.

Regarding a digital government, Viettel will create and deploy smart-control centre services and a shared data centre system for administration operations. As OpenGov Asia reported, Viettel will help 100% of local businesses use digital management platforms, electronic contracts, and digital signatures.

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