The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in developing digital government, digital economy and digital society.
The signing ceremony between the Ministry of Information and Communications and the ADB.
The agreement lays the foundation for specific cooperation between the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Asian Development Bank to implement the national digital transformation program.
Under this agreement, ADB will provide technical support in four areas to the Ministry of Information and Communications during the 2021-2025 period.
They include: amending and upgrading the Law on Electronic Transactions 2005 to the Law on Electronic Transactions and Digital Economy; compiling the Law on Digital Technology Industry to replace the Law on Information Technology 2006; formulating the Development Strategy for Digital Economy and Digital Society to 2025, with a vision to 2030; and developing and implementing action programs to develop the digital economy and digital society.
The Government has issued the National Digital Transformation Program with three pillars: digital government, digital economy and digital society.
Digital government helps the government operate more efficiently, effectively and transparently. The digital economy promotes innovation, creates new values, new growth engines and helps increase labor productivity. Digital society helps people have equal opportunities to services, training and knowledge, narrows the development gap and reduces inequality.
Meanwhile, ADB's Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) focuses on digital transformation, taking digital technology as the driving force to implement priorities to support economic growth and sustainable development in Vietnam. Those shared goals and aspirations have fueled the initiative for a joint cooperation plan between the two sides.
According to Deputy Minister Nguyen Huy Dung, ADB and the Ministry of Information and Communications will jointly develop a plan to implement specific cooperation activities to support research, build a legal framework, policies, and breakthrough solutions to boost the digital economy. The goal is for Vietnam's digital economy to account for 20% of the national GDP by 2025.
The two sides will seek resources to support the development of national digital platforms to promote national digital transformation and development of the digital government, digital economy and digital society in a comprehensive and universal way.
The Ministry of Information and Communications and ADB will also research and promote investment in digital infrastructure projects, ICT infrastructure, and telecommunications infrastructure to turn this into a foundation for promoting Vietnam's economy to develop quickly and sustainably.
In addition, the two sides will jointly share views on how to achieve an inclusive, sustainable, secure, reliable and innovative digital society.
Recommendations for Vietnam's digital economy
According to Mr. Andrew Jeffries, ADB Country Director for Vietnam, digital transformation has the potential to become a core part of economic recovery. At the same time, digital technology brings both opportunities and challenges that Vietnam needs to pay attention to.
The inclusive digital economy requires the Government to carefully consider the impacts of digitization and the regulations and policies that help shape this new economy.
The ADB representative said that a favorable environment to apply digital technologies and promote the startup ecosystem will be important factors for success.
Vietnam can develop its digital economy by attracting investment in the technology industry, leveraging technology talent and skills, and accelerating productivity growth through digital transformation.
As Vietnam moves towards a digital society, Vietnam needs guidance and support to make the most of digital technology to strengthen social structures, promote cultural development and build trust.
The ADB expert also recommended that Vietnam increase digital literacy among vulnerable groups, ensure affordable Internet access devices, and engage a wide range of stakeholders in discussions on technology policy.
Regarding digital government, Vietnam needs to digitize public services, adjust processes and procedures to increase speed and efficiency, and change regulations and policies.
According to the an ADB official, the technological challenge is also a cultural challenge. Therefore, Vietnam needs the right leadership and incentives to realize its ambitions.
The digital economy in Vietnam accounts for about 8.2% of GDP. The development potential of the Internet and digital economy components is still quite large.