Abundant room for cooperation and investment in digital economy

February 19, 2022 | 08:00
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Businesses and government representatives agreed at the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) on February 18 that there's is ample room for cooperation and investment in the digital economy, requiring thorough preparation by all stakeholders.
Abundant room for cooperation and investment in digital economy
Abundant room for cooperation and investment in the digital economy: VBF
Sharing the report of the VBF digital economy working group, representative Bruno Sivanandan said that the pandemic alters social behaviour and creates new opportunities for some industries. While in-person and on-site industries and businesses suffered, those based on digital technologies show significant growth, such as online meeting solutions, e-commerce, streaming services, and delivery services.

Sivanandan also said that Vietnam is one of the countries at the forefront of Southeast Asia's digital economic growth. Its internet economy reached $19 billion in 2019, emerging as the most digital of all economies in the region.

Foreign investment in the country's ICT sector has also been increasing. More tech giants are considering Vietnam as their next destination for investment. Investment in ICT stood at $4 billion with 2,355 projects in 2021, which is the 10th-largest in investment size.

"With this momentum, Vietnam has the opportunity to grow the digital economy and software development," Sivanandan said.

Thereby, the government would continue to play an important role in driving the adoption of the technologies that will enable economic recovery plans.

"We appreciate Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's acknowledgement of digital transformation as an inevitable trend, not only in Vietnam but globally," said Sivanandan.

Sivanandan also said that the government should participate in the digital transformation and encourage change.

"We encourage the government to continue looking at the long-term benefits of digital transformation and be a strong advocate for progress. For example, cloud services have kept many governments and organisations resilient during these times of disruption with its costs savings, scalability, reliability, and security," added Sivanandan.

Regarding the legal framework, the working group said that the current one is unstable and inadequate for the rapid growth of technological advancements.

"While technology closes the gap between countries, intellectual property (IP) and IT laws are very territorial. There is no single formula for managing regulatory and policy issues in a broadband world, and Vietnam must chart its own course in response to local conditions and needs. Vietnam's framework still lags behind when it comes to technology-related issues," the representative of the working group emphasised.

Besides this, the current cybersecurity and personal data protection laws are not well established, the representative stated. The implementing decree for the Law on Cybersecurity is not yet introduced, even though the law was issued about three years ago.

Moreover, the working group also proposed to develop clear rules for the digital economy and tech-related businesses, as well as to find a way to effectively enforce and fight against IP violations, invest in human resources and tech businesses, and enhance the startup ecosystem.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc said that the government pays a lot of attention to digital transformation. The Ministry of Planning and Investment would also support and encourage cooperatives and household businesses to apply modern technologies.

“We can see that the room for cooperation and investment in the digital economy in the time coming is huge," confirmed Ngoc.

By Nguyen Huong

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