The 2024 vision for digital application, digital productivity, and digital growth

January 01, 2024 | 23:00
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Vietnam’s digital technology industry has made encouraging steps of development and maturity over the years.

The number of digital tech enterprises increased by 30 per cent, industry revenue rose by 32 per cent, and the Vietnamese-made proportion of related industrial products increased from 21 per cent to 29 per cent.

The 2024 vision for digital application, digital productivity, and digital growth
Nguyen Manh Hung, minister of Information and Communications

Software production for foreign countries climbed by 43 per cent. We currently have over 1,400 businesses of this type, with revenue approaching the $10 billion mark.

In 2019, we established the Vietnamese digital technology business community, with the mission to focus on doing research, creating, and making in Vietnam, contributing to helping it escape the middle-income trap.

The national forum on development of such businesses, held every December, is also an occasion to celebrate a special day of the digital technology business community. December 12 is Vietnam Digital Technology Enterprise Day.

Outstanding products designed, created, and produced in Vietnam have made a great impact and influence on individuals, businesses, and governments, bringing them to the digital environment, contributing to the development of digital government, economy, and society.

The most important area for this development is in digital applications and transformation applications. So who will do this? It must be network operators and digital technology businesses. We have the infrastructure, we have the technology, we have human resources, and we have knowledge about this transformation. So, we must be the creators of applications for industries and sell to them. Over the past few years, we have left this task to industries to do on their own, and transformation has been very slow.

Developing digital applications for industries is also product creation. Network operators and digital tech businesses must consider this as research and development activities.

China’s China Mobile spends up to $4 billion a year to develop applications. They have created over 30,000 industrial 5G applications, and China Mobile’s annual revenue has increased by over 10 per cent. The 5G applications market will reach $670 billion by 2025, which will help network operators’ revenue increase by up to 50 per cent compared to 2020.

Thus, tens of thousands of Vietnamese related enterprises should target industries and sectors to create digital applications, help them in their digital transformation, and digital economy development.

Building digital industries is also a way to increase labour productivity. For many years, Vietnam has not achieved the goal of increasing labour productivity. Now, our solution to this difficult problem is to create applications to develop digital economy.

Meanwhile, 2024 will be the year of commercialisation of 5G nationwide to create infrastructure for relevant applications. It is also the year of developing AI, especially creating AI applications for each sector, and industrial AI applications.

AI can work when humans give it a purpose and certain rules. Without these, AI will stand still. People can specify different purposes and create new rules to solve problems. Humans decide what data to give AI, what algorithms and how we teach it.

One day, each person will have their own virtual assistant. This virtual assistant will represent human knowledge and have each person’s individual identity. Applying narrow and industrial AI will bring quick results, help increase labour productivity, smarten human resources, and pose little risk. So let’s start first and quickly from narrow AI applications.

This is also the first year we will implement the national strategy on semiconductor development. The semiconductor industry will be a key one over the next 30-50 years. As long as humanity continues to evolve based on information and data as an input factor in production, data processing, semiconductor chips will continue to be important.

The need for data processing will be no different from the need for electricity and water. Some countries have introduced the concept of Computing Utility, or computing infrastructure.

From human resources will come other advantages. From the global centre of semiconductors, human resources will lead to the global centre of the semiconductor industry.

As we develop it, we should look at it in a larger context. The semiconductor chip design market is worth $60 billion. If we discuss the entire industry, it is worth $600 billion, but the electronics industry is over $3 trillion, and the digital transformation industry is over $20 trillion.

Developing semiconductor technology is also an opportunity for Vietnam to rebuild its electronics industry, especially when it is entering the transition phase to AI electronics and Internet of Things devices. The semiconductor industry is also the core of digital transformation. It is the largest market for semiconductor chips. Vietnam is a large market, and is in a stage of rapid development, industrialisation, digital transformation, and electronic consumption.

This is all favourable for the semiconductor industry, but Vietnam still has to move towards a complete national supply chain, not just a few stages. Digital technology is changing very fast, and only a complete national supply chain can it meet fast speeds and low prices.

Without Vietnamese-made products, the country cannot become a developed one, and go global. Nor can we be self-reliant, strong, and prosperous.

Vietnamese digital technology businesses desire to conquer the world with Vietnamese products and technology. They expect the government, ministries, and localities to give them bigger tasks to transform the country, to industrialise and modernise. Only big dreams and aspirations can help create great Vietnamese businesses.

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By Manh Hung

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