“Opportunities are coming, and this year Vietnam will declare a strategy of digitization on a national scale, to move towards a digital economy and society,” Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said at an information and communications technology conference Thursday.
“We want to get ahead in digitization, to be top 50 globally in 2025, and top 30 in 2030. Vietnam will focus on developing five fundamental components: institution, infrastructure, network security, platforms and training.”
The biggest challenge to digitization is to get everyone connected, but its maximum potential can only be harnessed if all of society participates. The solution lies in developing shared platforms that can bridge millions of people and thousands of businesses, he said.
“The power of connection is not additive nor multiplicative but exponential. Building shared platforms will allow thousands of agencies like newspapers and magazines, many of whom do not have the resources to build their own platforms, to access end users, allowing large numbers of enterprises to digitize quickly,” Hung added.
The minister asked each IT enterprise to build its own platform, contributing to national digitization.
However, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam warned that Vietnam required a lot of effort to make breakthrough progress from its current state of digitization, which is quite low.
Dam pointed to the 1990s, when Vietnam had already begun envisaging a digital information era, digital economy, knowledge economy, and e-government. Although Vietnam has taken advantage of many opportunities, it has also missed many and left many projects unfinished, he noted.
“We often say we have to advance straight to modern technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, or blockchain. This is the right mindset, but most importantly, we must be ready to change old habits and thoughts, overcome difficulties and overcome ourselves,” the deputy PM said.
Dam added it must be kept in mind that digitization also presents opportunities to other nations. “Vietnam needs to make good use of the competition, so it does not become a difficult challenge.”
Google and Singaporean sovereign fund Temasek have estimated Vietnamese digital economy’s worth at $9 billion in 2018, and expect this to reach $30 billion by 2025.
The digital economy has been rebust in the last few years. It grew by over and the country can sustain this rate for the next two or three years, according to the Vietnam E-Commerce Association.