The analysis of 12 economies in Asia Pacific conducted by Access Partnership Analytics shows that the surveyed countries have exploited only 30 percent of the digital economy. The analyses were carried out with data collected in Australia, India, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The total value of the digital economies of the countries is $586 billion. If all potential could be exploited, the benefits of the digital economy could bring total $1.4 trillion.

As for Vietnam, it only has 10 percent of GDP currently associated with the digital economy. Vietnam’s digital economy is worth $7 billion.

The report from Access Partnership Analytics predicted that if fully exploiting all the benefits of the digital economy, the 12 regional countries would be able to earn $2.2 trillion more by 2030. As for Vietnam, the figure could be $91 billion by 2030.

The institution commented that Vietnam has high readiness for building digital infrastructure, but its ability to provide services needs to be improved, while indicators in competition and policies have "potential."  

e-Conomy SEA 2022, a report from Google, Temasek and Bain & Company released in October 2022 found that the digital economy of six ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) is expected to grow 6 percent per annum. The report pointed out that the digital economy in the region may reach $1 trillion by 2030.

Nevertheless, there are challenges in the path to growth, from the gap between urban and rural areas to low digital literacy, according to Anthony Toh, a researcher of S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore.

The ASEAN Digital Integration Index report shows that the digital integration indicators of Singapore and Malaysia are relatively good, while Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam lack one or more indicators.

The indicators in the report include data protection and cybersecurity, digital payments, digital skills, innovation, entrepreneurship, and infrastructure readiness.

Solutions to promote digital economy

In Vietnam, with a large and young population, the digital economy is contributing to economic development of the country with sharing models in transport, healthcare, remote education, and e-commerce.

At the government meeting on May 4, 2023, Hung said of digital economy development, 70-80 percent is the digital transformation of industries, while the information and communications sector just accounts for 20-30 percent of the digital economy in the long term.

It is estimated that by the end of 2023, Vietnam’s digital economy may account for more than 17 percent of GDP, and the goal of 20 percent by 2025 is within reach.

The Prime Minister in late March 2022 approved the national socio-economic development strategy by 2025 with a vision toward 2030.

The digital economy growth rate in Vietnam is 2-3 times higher than GDP, which is the driving force of the national economy.

Developing the digital economy, according to Hung, must be based on three pillars: 1/ digital administration 2/ use of data to create value for the economy and 3/ productive forces related to the digital economy, of which ICT (information and communications technology) is the core.

Of the three above-mentioned pillars, digital administration and data exploitation cannot develop appropriately, while ICT, though being considered the driving force of the digital economy, there are no specific guidance for the development of this field.

According to Vietnam’s plan, the digital economy would account for 20 percent of GDP by 2025, and 30 percent by 2030.

Thai Khang