Enterprises operating in the telecommunications and IT sectors around the world say they have found new business opportunities during the Covid-19 pandemic, but also need incentive policies from governments.
Held online for the first time, ITU Digital World 2020 opened on October 20 with the theme "Building the digital world together". The global ICT event was co-organized online by the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on the Make in Vietnam platform at https://digitalworld2020.vn.
New business opportunities
Many businesses are expected to receive support from governments during and after the pandemic.
Not only noting the importance of ICT to help us get out of crisis, especially the Covid-19 pandemic, representatives of many countries and businesses attending the ITU Ministerial Roundtables, a major event under the framework of the ITU Digital World 2020, said that they have found new opportunities for development.
Mr. Sunil Bharti, President of Bharti Enterprise (India), said IT is one of the most important pillars in the digital age. "It's hard to imagine a world without connection," he said. He also said that the development of businesses in the ICT industry can benefit developing countries, especially in infrastructure investment, bandwidth expansion, networking, fiber optic cables, satellite…
However, according to the President of Bharti Enterprise, governments need to support citizens and businesses through tax exemptions. The high tax rate is the biggest difficulty for telecommunications businesses in many countries. "If ICT can really change the game, we need support and incentives, especially tax incentives," said Mr. Sunil Bharti.
Expressing his views on growth opportunities in the challenging times, Mr. Evgeny Kaspersky, Karpersky CEO, said that his network security firm is working to meet the growing demand for information security. “Network infrastructure and security are the two biggest demands of government agencies and businesses today. We are supporting and providing customers with the best cybersecurity solutions and tools, to ensure that individuals access education in the safest way,” he said.
He also expressed optimism about the new development signals. “We can still develop our abilities in the new normal context. I believe that Covid-19 has helped develop new services, new habits, so the post-pandemic world will become brighter."
Discussing the development prospects of new services, especially 5G, Mr. Marc Vancoppenolle, Global Head of Government Relations of Nokia, said that when the pandemic broke out, the traffic increased to 30 - 40%. And this number will continue to increase because distance learning and working are a global trend. “We must have enough bandwidth to close the connection gap; to ensure that students can study and workers can continue working remotely. The process of upgrading to 5G network is a step that can meet this need,” he said.
The representative of Nokia affirmed that investment in broadband should be a priority of the telecommunications industry worldwide, and one of the initiatives included in the plan to cope with Covid-19. However, that is not enough because we have to perform digital transformation in small business. Small and medium businesses expand their scale not only physically, but also in cyberspace. "With current technology, we can expect the digital economy to thrive in the future," said Marc Vancoppenolle.
Countries change their policies to adapt
The ITU Ministerial Roundtables is being held online for the first time.
In his speech, ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said that at many meetings, businesses had expressed their commitments and hopes that government agencies can create better conditions in terms of the environment and institutions so that businesses can invest in ICT development. This is also an issue discussed by leaders of the ICT industry of many countries during the ITU Roundtables.
Mr. Ghazi Al-Jobor, Chairman and Executive Secretary General of the Jordan Telecom Commission, believes that ICT plays an important role in the pandemic response, but it is important to deliver telecommunications and IT services to all people. “Our regulatory bodies have been active in policy-making, drafting and cooperating with international organizations in the codification of international laws and documents. We have allocated the system of bandwidth, digital resources for infrastructure development, and licensed organizations to use them to promote efficiency."
With the strong increase in demand for ICT services during the period of social distancing, the representative of Jordan said his country had written requests for network operators to provide many service packages to serve the people and at the same time it changed many policies, creating conditions for businesses in the industry to provide the best services.
In Singapore, IT solutions have increased dramatically during the pandemic. Mr. Keng Thai Leong, General Director of International Affairs of the Infocomm Communication Development Agency (Singapore), said that Singapore has developed many mobile applications to provide information to people. The Government expanded its policies and services, aiming to improve the capacity of the entire society to cope with Covid-19.
Mr. Keng Thai Leong said that Singapore has built many policies and platforms to serve businesses, especially small and medium enterprises. These services and solutions are completely free, supporting businesses to self-innovate and apply digital technology to respond and continue to develop after the pandemic.
Expecting that the ITU Ministerial Roundtables will lay the foundations for a better, more connected and safer world, ITU Secretary-General Zhao Houlin emphasized that countries must work together to narrow the digital gap.
The ITU Ministerial Roundtables, which opened on October 20, emphasized cooperation in digital transformation and sustainable development.
Mr. Houlin Zhao - Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) - said Vietnam is a shining example of IT development.
Vietnam will host the ITU Digital World 2020, expecting to attract hundreds of technology businesses from across the globe.