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'Make in Vietnam' instrumental in going global

Digital technology industry as a bright spot in the economy with an industry-wide revenue of $148 billion, up 10 per cent against 2021.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications presents awards to 40 digital enterprises. — VNS Photo Le Viet Dung

Institutional reform and high-quality human resources are key to Viet Nam's digital advancement, according to Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.

Dam was speaking at the fourth National Forum on the Development of Vietnamese Digital Enterprises (NFD) on December 8.

The deputy PM said Viet Nam needs institutional reform to facilitate digital growth since many existing legal documents are holding back projects.

High-quality human resources are also equally important as the country is in need of one million information technology (IT) workers in the short term.

"If we do not break old thinking patterns and take new approaches to education and training, one million IT workers would be a target out-of-reach," said Dam.

He also said software and digital products account for roughly 5 per cent of Viet Nam's total exports last year, of which FPT contributed around US$2 billion.

Pham Duc Long, deputy minister of Information and Communications, highlighted the digital technology industry as a bright spot in the economy with an industry-wide revenue of $148 billion, up 10 per cent against 2021.

The industry has more than 70,000 digital enterprises, which export billions of dollar worth of software and digital products in 2022, acting as a catalyst for digital transformation.

"Vietnamese enterprises need to take full advantage of the digital revolution to go global," said Long.

He also said the notion of 'Make in Viet Nam' was introduced in the first NFD in 2019, which highlighted the active role of Vietnamese enterprises in the design and creation of high-tech products.

The second NFD in 2020 re-stressed the importance of the notion by conveying a message that Vietnamese enterprises would not be able to go global without 'Make in Viet Nam' products.

In the third NFD in 2021, Vietnamese enterprises were tasked with laying the groundwork for the national digital transformation, a push for post-pandemic economic recovery.

Nguyen Trung Chinh, chairman of CMC Corporation, estimated that digital sectors in 12 Asia-Pacific countries, collectively, amounted to $586 billion in 2021 and are expected to hit $3 trillion by 2030. In Viet Nam, the sector contributed to roughly 10 per cent of the GDP.

"Digital infrastructure is the launch pad for a successful digital transformation," said Chinh.

He also said a digital hub requires many international fibre-optic cables. Unfortunately, only eight cables have reached Viet Nam so far, against around 20 to 30 for Singapore. Viet Nam needs to connect to more cables to make headway digitally.

Hoang Tuan Hai, chairman of VNM Holdings, underlined the unproficiency in English, the lack of critical thinking and the absence of favourable policies for Vietnamese enterprises wanting to go global as the three major factors holding back the IT industry.

"Vietnamese IT enterprises are normally not good at English. They find it difficult to compete with rivals from India, the EU and the US because of the unproficiency," said Hai.

He called for a closer link between universities and enterprises to improve training and education as well as the establishment of Vietnamese digital hubs in large foreign markets to support Vietnamese enterprises abroad.

Joseph Saib, an entrepreneur in silicon valley in the US, said around $7 trillion nowadays is spent on digital transformation and 65 per cent of global GDP will be digital by 2025.

"This is an opportunity that Viet Nam can choose to get in front of, not just play catch-up," said Saib.

He also said Vietnamese enterprises need to thoroughly prepare both knowledge and resources. Some key elements include a strong R&D team, a detailed action plan, successful case studies, industry experience and human resources.

Ngo Dien Hy, deputy general director of VNPT Group, told Viet Nam News that Vietnamese enterprises should engage in certain technologies to gain ground internationally. Some of the technologies include blockchain, big data, artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

At the forum, forty digital solutions were awarded 'Make in Viet Nam digital products in 2022'. — VNS

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