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Vietnam must stay on the digital transformation path: Prime Minister

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh chaired the first meeting of the committee via a videoconference on November 30, 2021.

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Concluding the first meeting of the National Committee on Digital Transformation, PM Chinh asked for agreement with the view that digital transformation is a requirement for the development of Vietnam and that the country must not stay outside the process.

At the meeting, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) and the standing body of the committee announced the Prime Minister’s Decision No 1619 dated September 24, 2021 on consolidating and renaming the National Committee on E-Government as the National Committee on Digital Transformation. The committee has 16 members and Chinh is chair of the committee

PM Chinh said the first meeting has significant importance.

“We have begun a new period, implementing the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress which has outlined three extremely important tasks – carrying out national digital transformation and building three major pillars, namely digital Government, digital economy and digital society,” Chinh said.

PM Chinh said it’s necessary to implement it effectively, contributing to socio-economic development, especially the economic recovery and development, plus pandemic prevention and control.

MIC Minister Nguyen Manh Hung commented that the presence of Prime Minister Chinh as the committee’s chair showed the strong commitment of the Government to digital transformation.

Minister Hung spoke about the need to change perceptions and the ways of implementing digital transformation in the time to come.

While information technology application is the job of chief information technology officers, digital transformation is the job of the heads of agencies and businesses. The National Committee on Digital Transformation is headed by the Prime Minister, and therefore, the committees in digital transformation at ministries, branches and in localities must be headed by Ministers and provincial Chairs.

While older forms of information technology application mean vertical digitization, which does not require much change in the processes or operations of organizations, digital transformation is horizontal digitization, i.e. digitizing the entire organization, and changing the ways that organizations operate.

“Digital transformation is an institutional revolution rather than a technological one. Therefore, the Government needs to lead in digital transformation, including creating digital institutions. For the models that are not yet regulated, it’s necessary to pilot the models. And in order to speed up this, the Government needs to set up an institutional framework for a pilot,” Mr. Hung said.

“The government needs to take the lead in digitizing its operations itself. Once the government pioneers spending on digital transformation, this will help create a digital transformation market for digital technology firms. The government will take the lead in spending money on basic research on some fundamental digital technologies. These actions would give a push towards digital transformation success in Vietnam,” he added.

He said the most appropriate approach in today's fast-changing and unpredictable conditions is small steps and a far-sighted vision.

Breakthrough solutions are Vietnamese national digital platforms. Digital transformation projects should be approached as business investment projects, with the value created greater than the costs, but all tangible and intangible values must be evaluated.

Communications play a role in promoting digital transformation. The first prerequisite of a digital society is that everyone has a smartphone and every household a fiber-optic Internet line.

“Vietnam needs foresight for its digital transformation; a Vietnamese-style approach, tools to measure, detailed yearly plans and a breakthrough policy,” Mr. Hung said.

18 major tasks for 2022

 

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Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung

 

 

At the meeting, MIC Deputy Minister Nguyen Huy Dung presented the draft plan on digital transformation in 2022.

He said there are 53 targets put forward in the national program on digital transformation and the national strategy on developing e-government that need to be implemented synchronously from 2022. However, the 2022 yearly plan shows 18 important targets that need to be obtained next year.

The draft plan outlines 42 groups of tasks to be implemented in 2022, including 18 breakthrough tasks. In addition to the 18 tasks, localities can propose initiatives to be implemented throughout the country. To date, six localities, including Thai Nguyen, Quang Ninh, Lang Son, Ninh Binh, Ba Ria – Vung Tau and Hau Giang have proposed initiatives.

Agreeing with the tasks, Quang Ninh’s leaders commented that the 18 tasks cover all three important aspects – digital Government, digital economy and digital society.

Quang Ninh province has reached some targets, including smartphone popularity, universalization of people’s health records, online education, and e-invoices. It proposed more reasonable policies to attract high-quality workers in the field of digital transformation.

In Da Nang City, nearly 100 percent of administrative procedures are implemented at Levels 3 and 4 of the digitization scale, of which 90 percent are at Level 4. The city has also succeeded in using data technology in the fight against Covid-19.

The city proposed that the Government and ministries perfect the national database and share it with all localities. Policies on developing infrastructure and human resources for digital transformation are also needed.

Minister of Public Security To Lam said the first achievement in the digital transformation process of the ministry is the smart administration on the electronic identity authentication for all citizens.

In July, the Ministry of Public Security completed the national database on population and citizen identity cards.

Lam emphasised the significance of the national population database in establishing a digital citizen platform, thus creating favourable conditions for processing administrative procedures.

To date, it has authenticated social insurance for over 35 million citizens; granted over 6.5 million personal identifiers to newborns and connected and authenticated more than 20 million immunization records.

Van Anh -  Duy Vu

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