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Pandemic offers lessons and once-in-a-century opportunity: MIC Minister

Vietnam expects to jump into the second position in the region in terms of digital economy, just following Indonesia, officials have said.


At the conference


The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) on December 22, 2021, organized a conference reviewing tasks in 2021 and discussing new tasks for 2022.

There are 64,000 digital technology firms in Vietnam, an increase of 9.5 percent, using 1.4 million workers, up 8 percent compared with 2020.

The total revenue of the ICT (information technology and communication )industry in 2021 is VND3.46 quadrillion, which means a growth rate of 9 percent over 2020. The growth rate of the industry is 3.6-4.5 times higher than the predicted 2-2.5 percent of GDP.

The Integrated Index for Postal Development (2IPD) released by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) showed that Vietnam ranks 47th out of 168 countries, a promotion of two grades compared with 2020.

In terms of cybersecurity, Vietnam’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) jumped from the 50th position in 2018 to the 25th in 2020.

As of December 15, 2021, the fourth-level online public services had accounted for 96 percent, increasing by three times over the same period last year.

The revenue from the telecommunication sector is estimated to reach VND130.768 trillion, up by 2 percent. FTTH (fiber to the home) service has reached 65 percent, up by 10 percent.

There are 123.76 million mobile phone subscribers, and 92.88 million smartphones. 

As for new services, MIC has licensed to trial 5G service in 16 cities and provinces. 300 5G BTS (base transceiver stations) has been installed, while the average speed is 500-600Mbps.

The ministry advised the Government to approve the pilot plan on using telecom accounts for payment for products and services with small value – Mobile Money.

In 2021, MIC organized ITU Digital World 2021, affirming Vietnam’s role and position in the region and the world.

Digital transformation

Ministry of Public Security (MPS) Deputy Minister Nguyen Duy Ngoc, who attended the conference, stressed that MIC and MIC Minister have helped his ministry to build a database on population. MPS has successfully built a digital map of the national population.

Pham Tien Dung, Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), said digital transformation is a must in the banking sector.

State Bank of Vietnam, in cooperation with MIC and MPS, has launched Mobile Money service on a trial basis. The service is expected to encourage non-cash payment, especially in remote areas, and to improve the banking ecosystem.

With support from MIC, SBV has released a decision on digital transformation in the banking sector with many important goals: 50 percent of small loans are to be conducted with digital technology and 80 percent of population will have bank accounts by 2025; important payment systems will handle 10 million electronic transactions each day with the value of VND700 trillion.

Meanwhile, Minister of Natural Resources and Rural Development Tran Hong Ha said with support from MIC, his ministry can now use digital signatures and handle works without printed papers.

The ministry has built a database on land. However, the use of the database will be efficient if they can be connected with other data. MIC will play an important role in ensuring data linkages.

Le Quoc Minh, Editor in Chief of Nhan Dan newspaper, said news agencies cannot stand alone, and need to invest in technology. Around the world, technology firms are making investments to produce content, and news agencies should also turn into technology firms.

News agencies need to invest in digital technology, use AI and optimize the use of measurement tools. They should also consider using not only AR and VR, but MR, XR and even metaverse as well.

Talking about IT in his province, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Chair Tran Van Thuan said technological solutions have helped a lot in the fight against the pandemic. Many Covid cases have been found thanks to the solutions.

Make-in-Vietnam technological products

Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said 2021 has been a tough year for Vietnam, but Vietnamese have overcome difficulties and the ICT industry made an indispensable contribution to this.

He cited new statistics as saying that Vietnam’s digital economy now has value of $21 billion, equal to Malaysia and lower than Thailand. Vietnam’s digital economy is expected to make a breakthrough in the coming time to surpass Malaysia and Thailand, only yielding to Indonesia in the region.

Dam stressed that in 2022, Vietnam needs to complete building the database about natural resources, especially land resources. This will have great impact on society, no less than electronic payments. Only by that time will digital transformation, the digital economy and digital society be able to make substantial progress.

Hung promised MIC would consider all opinions and be committed to handle the work with the spirit ‘work for five years will be done within one year’.

The most important work in digital transformation is connecting data. MIC will play the role of a coordinator to accompany agencies and businesses in the process.

The Government in mid-November 2021 released the Decision 1911 on the connection and sharing between the national database on population with national and specialised databases. 

Trong Dat

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