Lam Dinh Thang, director of the HCM City Department of Information and Communications, said the city aspires to regain its outstanding position and high GDP growth rates. The most vivid evidence is the preparation, proposal, submission and implementation of Resolution 98 on piloting policies for HCM City development after the resolution was ratified by the National Assembly.

The municipal authorities have designed solutions, including breakthrough measures on science and technology development, innovation, digital transformation, digital economy, green economy and circular economy.

Regarding the digital economy, HCM City is accelerating growth by including digital economy development criteria in the city’s Party Committee’s resolutions and the yearly socio-economic development programs.

The city has been developing digital infrastructure, and promoting non-cash payments in a number of fields, especially administration, education, healthcare and transport.

With these measures, the city’s digital economy made up 15.48 percent of GRDP in 2021 and 18.66 percent in 2022.

Despite challenges in the level of awareness of digital economy, the lack of unification in measurement methods and tools, and the limited resources to support small and medium enterprises, Thang said that the digital economy is expected to make up 25 percent of GRDP by 2025 and 40 percent by 2030. 

Tran Minh Tuan, director of the Digital Economy and Digital Society under the Ministry of Information and Communications, said that the position of the digital economy in HCMC serves as a strong driving force for sustainable growth based on four main pillars – information and communications technology (ICT) industry, digital transformation in industries, digital administration and data valuation.

However, Tuan said that HCM City needs to supplement the pillars of digital administration and data valuation. At the same time, the city needs to quickly shift to implementing some phases of the economy on an online basis.

The city needs to universalize artificial intelligence (AI) apps and Vietnamese-developed apps; and create policies for digital economy development. It would be better to pilot all kinds of models, and then standardize them and then improve management, monitoring and digital administration.

It is also necessary to build a strategy on digital economy with the important role assigned to the Department of Information and Communications.

Tuan said that to make the digital economy account for 40 percent of GRDP by 2030, HCM City should not ‘go alone’, but needs to develop regional linkages.

He explained that HCM City, with great advantages in IT service and software, needs to cooperate with the neighboring provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau, where there are industrial zones with competitiveness in hardware.

HCM City has capacity of leading digital transformation, so it is necessary to build a big data center for the southeastern region there.

It is also necessary to establish a list of public data resources that need to be collected; and establish a public data sharing mechanism with the region’s Big Data Center to promote the connection of public data and related business systems.

A representative from the Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology suggested that the city appraise and analyze the digital economy annually to keep a close watch over development, and discover problems and find solutions; build scenarios for digital economy development by 2025-2030 so as to consider feasibility, and suggest solution packages that fit every scenario; and study the digital economy and digital transformation in key fields in HCM City.

Regarding a regime to develop digital economy, Pham Binh An, deputy head of the HCM City Institute for Development Studies, said that the city has a new ‘stick’ – Resolution 98, which allows it to apply ‘sandbox’ – the piloted institutional frame, allowing a limited number of enterprises to test new technologies and business models.  

Tran Chung