Motivations for digital development

April 27, 2022 | 17:02
Digital transformation is set to create new room, resources, and infrastructure for the development of the country, enabling Vietnam to obtain its ambitious goals of a digitalised government, economy, and society. Nguyen Manh Hung, Minister of Information and Communications, explains how this digital transformation will promote future growth.
Motivations for digital development
Nguyen Manh Hung, Minister of Information and Communications

In 2020, China’s digital economy made up nearly 40 per cent of its GDP. Meanwhile in Vietnam, the threshold was just at 11-12 per cent in 2021. Thus, the development space for future development remains huge, and the country aims to increase the contribution of the digital economy to 20 per cent of its GDP by 2025, representing a growth rate of 20-25 per cent per annum.

The digital transformation also creates a new resource for development – data. A digital economy is based on data, which also represents a new land. The more data we have, the more land we own. Some people call data a resource, similar to oil, while others say it is the input for production like land and capital. However, throughout the history of development, humans only use resources, and never create them.

A digital economy needs a digital infrastructure – a broadband telecommunications infrastructure. This can be achieved with the high availability of smartphones among locals and the usage of optical fibre Internet in every household. Cloud computing can then be utilised for storing and processing data.

Over the past few years, domestic tech firms have developed many digital platforms to solve problems related to the economy, culture, society, and environment. Cities and provinces also chose appropriate digital platforms and tools to deal with their problems. Such development will be mainly based on innovations. To accelerate innovations safely and efficiently, they should be carried out in the digital environment.

The digital transformation brings with it digital versions of the physical world – people, things, land, sea, and even the universe can be partially digitalised. For the first time in history, people create a real-virtual relationship and live in both worlds at the same time. Designs, creations, and trials can be conducted quickly at the lowest fees in the digital environment, before being applied for production in the real world. Similarly, data analysis can be carried out in the digital realm first before applying its results for recommendations for the real world to increase its efficiency.

The digital transformation includes three big trends which contribute to sustainable development. They are de-intermediation, decentralisation, and dematerialisation. De-intermediation is achieved through a platform economy, with e-commerce platforms being an example. Decentralisation comes through a shared economy, with ride-hailing services being an example of this. Lastly, dematerialisation means the virtualisation of physical products and services such as e-books, digital music, and others. These trends all enable our economy to operate more efficiently and increase competitiveness.

Moreover, digital transformation is the convergence of science and technology which will enable people to create development breakthroughs.

Because development needs orientations and strategies to lead the way, the country has already taken several steps. In 2019, the Politburo issued Resolution No.52-NQ/TW on a number of guidelines and policies to actively participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, emphasising digital transformation and the development of a digital economy.

In 2020, the prime minister approved the national digital transformation programme with the aim of developing a digital economy, society, and government. In early 2021, the resolution of the 13th National Party Congress also aimed at accelerating national digital transformation and the development of a digital economy.

Moreover, in mid-2021, the prime minister approved the e-government development strategy for the establishment of a digital government.

This year, the government leader approved the national strategy for the digital economy and social development. Likewise, almost all ministries, agencies, cities, and provinces issued resolutions and strategies for digital transformation.

Importantly, the digital world will combine the strengths of all people. In a physical world, there would forever be a gap between urban and rural areas, between the rich and the poor. However, in a digital world, this gap will be increasingly dealt with. All people will be able to access knowledge, tools, and technology for the creation of services and goods and a strong country that leaves no-one behind.

By Nguyen Manh Hung

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