Developing a digital economy for the 21st century

August 26, 2021 | 08:00
Green growth and digital development are likely the most anticipated trends in the first half of the 21st century, helping a country develop fast and sustainably. Nguyen Manh Hung, Minister of Information and Communications, writes about these trends and their importance for Vietnam.
Nguyen Manh Hung, Minister of Information and Communications
Nguyen Manh Hung - Minister of Information and Communications

Green growth and digital development are the solution for the current development issues as they require the least resources compared to traditional approaches.

The technologies that come with the Fourth Industrial Revolution mainly focus on these two trends, and many innovations are created in these fields.

Therefore, green growth and digital development will be crucial in the first half of the 21st century. Any country that wishes to create breakthrough changes in its position and ranking should take this opportunity.

In order to develop a digital economy and society, it is important to establish a modern digital infrastructure. Physical infrastructure requires many years of construction and huge investments, but digital-backed infrastructure can be established quicker with lower costs.

Vietnam’s information and communications industry aims to place the country’s digital infrastructure among the top 30 worldwide before 2025. The Vietnam Digital Infrastructure Development Strategy – which the prime minister will enact this year – sets out key tasks to enable a fast and sustainable development of the digital economy and society.

At present, the digital economy now makes up around 15 per cent of global GDP, with this rate amounting to 21 per cent in the US and 30 per cent in China.

Developing a digital economy for the 21st century

In Vietnam, the rate currently stands at about 10 per cent. The nation aims to increase the rate to at least 20 per cent by 2025. To achieve this, the digital economy must triple or even quadruple, reaching a growth rate of 20-25 per cent annually.

If we manage to maintain a growth rate of over 30 per cent annually, as we did in the last five years, Vietnam’s digital economy could account for 25 per cent of GDP by 2025.

How to achieve this target is laid out in the National Digital Transformation Programme – approved by the prime minister last June – and the National Strategy on Digital Economy and Digital Society Development – which is scheduled to be approved in the third quarter of this year, also by the prime minister.

We should combine a strong market with a strong nation. We can develop a strong market in the short term, while it requires a lot more time to also establish a strong nation. Such a nation should be able to use up to 1.5 per cent of its state budget yearly to lead social resources in the development of the digital economy and society.

Our spirit plays a vital role in this endeavour, as it does with any nations that wishes to developed into a powerful one. This spirit can be activated and utilised when a nation begins to dream big and has great aspirations.

By Nguyen Manh Hung, Minister of Information and Communications

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