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|The Industry 4.0 Summit 2018 has seen words of wisdom for Vietnam to flourish in the new digital age, Source: Government Office|
Nearly 2,000 delegates, including government leaders, representatives of international organisations and about 50 leading domestic and international firms attended the Industry 4.0 Summit 2018 held late last week in Hanoi. They discussed the role of policymakers in formulating a proactive approach to Industry 4.0 and international co-operation, as well as proposed solutions to optimise breakthrough technologies in all socio-economic fields.
The event included an exposition, gathering 50 booths from leading corporations including Ericsson, ABB, CMC Telecoms, Viettel, and FPT, in such sectors as manufacturing, agriculture, energy, telecommunications, healthcare, transportation, banking and finance, and e-commerce. While planning to venture further into the local market to cash in on its huge potential in the digital age, they are waiting for concrete strategies and actions from the government to move ahead.
New directions drive more promising opportunities
Industry 4.0, with the vital role it plays in the present business community, has attracted unprecedented attention from the Party and the government. With the organisation of the summit, the awareness was proven once more and made stronger and clearer.
At the summit, the country sought suggestions and recommendations from international organisations for its master plans for smart cities, smart manufacturing, new advancements in the banking and
finance sector, and smart agriculture.
Government and National Assembly (NA) leaders announced policies and master plans in the pipeline to encourage private businesses to develop science and technology transfers.
“We commit to creating favourable conditions for international groups and organisations which have strong expertise in science and technology to join in research co-operation and technology transfers with Vietnamese firms,” Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at the summit.
PM Phuc directed ministries to develop action plans to progress faster in the era of Industry 4.0. The action plans should include policymaking with due attention to policies and regulations aimed at creating more favourable conditions for businesses and removing unreasonable business conditions, boosting human resource training, and developing information technology (IT) infrastructure.
“The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) must soon complete the national strategy on Industry 4.0, while the Ministry of Science and Technology must develop a science and technology report on the innovations of Vietnam 2035 goal. Cities and provinces have to develop action plans with prioritised goals and measures to implement,” the prime minister said.
PM Phuc also emphasised the importance of changing the methods of manufacturing and service businesses to align with the digital economy, while technological solutions should be changed instead of remaining focused on traditional technologies.
In the same spirit, NA Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien affirmed that the NA has built a legal framework to support and encourage businesses to invest in science-technology development and is working on new regulations.
“Recently, the country announced the Law on Science and Technology, the Law on Technology Transfer, the Law on Intellectual Property, and other laws with many incentives on value-added tax, corporate income tax, and more for sci-tech development,” said Hien.
“Besides, to adapt to the requirements of automation and digitalisation in the era of Industry 4.0, the NA is also working on a draft law on animal husbandry and another on cultivation, with many incentive policies to encourage applications so as to develop the agriculture sector,” Hien added.
In February 2018, a central steering committee was established to create a master plan on policies to actively join the Industry 4.0 revolution and submit it to the Politburo by October 2018.
These specific plans are expected to create a driving force for domestic and international enterprises operating in the sci-tech sector to invest more in the country.
Giant players head to fast and sustainable moves
It can be said that Ericsson, ABB, Viettel, and FPT are now among the big fishes in the local technological market. They are making preparations to cash in on promising opportunities driven by the government’s new movements in the digital age.
“The foundation of Industry 4.0 and any smart city initiatives is an ICT network. Ericsson is committed to working with operators like Mobifone, VinaPhone, and Viettel to ensure that we build a great ICT network to support and transport the data. This is the raw material used in Industry 4.0,” Denis Brunetti, president of Ericsson Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos told VIR. “We will continue to expand, operate, and develop the 4G mobile network infrastructure with the operators. The area that we want to get in more is innovation in Vietnam.”
“Foreign investment now tends to shift to more high-tech and knowledge- and IT-based projects. With the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement expected to take effect next year, we expect to see more EU investors in Vietnam, especially in the areas of ICT and high-tech,” Brunetti added.
ABB, a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation, and power grids, is also harbouring ambitions to write the future of industrial digitalisation in Vietnam, as it is pursuing many smart city projects in the country.
“Vietnam has huge potential. If the government makes efforts to accelerate the adoption of digital technology, it could be taking the lead. Vietnam is now a global manufacturing powerhouse. To keep it this way, digital technology will be essential,” said Nirupa Chander, country service manager of ABB.
According to ABB, in the region, Industry 4.0 presents a $637 billion-a-year opportunity in manufacturing and will drive profitability, productivity, and reliability.
Seeing the potential, many international groups, including some from the EU and Japan, are expanding their businesses to and in Vietnam, with Siemens, Volvo Buses, Roxtec, and Axis being standout examples.