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Digital economy is being shaped in Vietnam: Experts
Nguyen Tung 21:40, 2021/08/31
Vietnam and other ASEAN countries have a huge opportunity to attract investment capital into hi-tech fields.

The Covid-pandemic is serving as the catalyst for local enterprises to embark on the digital transformation, and shaping a digital economy.

General Secretary of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and Vice President of the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD) Nguyen Quang Vinh gave the remarks in an online dialogue with the media today [August 31], discussing the impacts of digital transformation as solutions for business breakthroughs.

 Overview of the online conference. Photo: Nguyen Tung

According to Vinh, the local economy is facing greater challenges from the pandemic compared to last year. “The business community has been active in finding a new direction and applies technologies in corporate governance to avoid disruption to the operation,” he continued.

President of Ericsson Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos & Cambodia Denis Brunetti welcomed the Government’s role in pushing for digitalizing the economy, especially the national strategy on digital transformation released late 2020 that targets the digital economy to make up 20% of the GDP by 2025 and 30% by 2030.

A supportive legal framework for digitalization would no doubt encourage local firms to embark on such a process, added Brunetti.

This is particularly important as two-third of global production output comes from the Asia-Pacific region. Vietnam and other ASEAN countries, therefore, have a huge opportunity to attract investment capital into hi-tech fields, Brunetti noted.

VNPT-IT CMO Nguyen Trung Kien referred to a survey that over 80% of business leaders have identified digital transformation as an urgent matter, while 65% expected to allocate more funds for the process.

A study from Microsoft also revealed digital transformation boosted productivity by 15% in 2017 and 21% in 2020.

“The main issue for businesses right now is how to ensure efficient operation as most of their employees are working online, along with other issues such as cyber-security, online trading, e-marketing, and automation,” he added.

From his perspective, Kien pointed out three factors for successful digitalization, including humans, technology, and working mechanism.

“The majority of firms are struggling for digitalization due to their difficulties in changing working habits and the right mindset in this regard,” Kien continued.

Kien noted every company should assess their own risks to find the most suitable solution towards digitalization, especially in terms of cyber-security, data management, and job security.

 R&D Department at the Vietnam National University. Photo: Bui Tuan

Finding opportunities during digitalization

Factory Manager of Nestle Bong Sen Urs Kloeti said the company’s vision is to become a multinational with local understandings so that it can stay top in innovation, digital transformation, and sustainable development.

Kloeti suggested these are the foundation for Nestle to respond and continue its strong growth amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

To ensure a successful digital transformation, Kloeti urged firms to focus on finding values and opportunities during this process, instead of just purely looking at the technological sides.

The first step, as Kloeti suggested, is to digitalize data with an appropriate solution, while the workforce should be equipped with the required digital skills to master new technologies.

For Kloeti, digital transformation has truly transformed the whole supply chain, improved product quality, and brought new experiences for customers.

Other benefits include a safe and productive working environment with greater interaction among staff and leaders, he added.

Meanwhile, Deputy General Director of Traphaco, a pharmaceutical company of Vietnam, Dao Thuy Ha noted the firm has achieved certain results during the digital transformation, with the first task being to adopt a 4.0 mindset in every business activity.

“We focus on investing in the human factor, the infrastructure, and a new business model to catch up with the trend of online shopping,” Ha said. For example, Traphaco has been using robots during the production process; applying IT in the distribution management system (DMS) or the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in corporate governance; analyzing customer data via the Business Intelligence (BI) system; among others.

With such drastic changes in operation, Ha added the firm witnessed strong growth of 22% in revenue and 38% in after-tax profit in the first six months of the year.

Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, targets to stay in the top three provinces/cities in terms of digitalization progress by 2030, and among the leading cities in Southeast Asia in data science and artificial intelligence (AI).

Hanoi has adopted a digital transformation program until 2025, with a vision to 2030, as the city eyes a rapid and sustainable economic development based on science-technology, innovation, and a high-quality workforce.

Director of Hanoi’s Department of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Liem said the city aims to focus on both developing digital economy, society, and the creation of digital firms capable of competing globally at the same time.

By 2030, Hanoi identifies digital economy would make up 40% of the gross regional domestic product, the productivity growth of over 7.5% per year, and 80% of the population having online payment account and full 5G coverage.

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