Vietnam aims to take advantage of opportunities during the digital transformation process to contain the Covid-19 pandemic and push for further development.
|Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the opening ceremony. Photos: Nguyen Tung|
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stressed the view at the opening ceremony of the 2021 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Digital World today [October 12], which is the second consecutive year that Vietnam hosts such an event.
According to Chinh, the world is going through profound changes that it has never seen before, especially in the pandemic and science development.
“In this process, the digital transformation process is creating both challenges and opportunities for countries,” he said.
However, Chinh said it is no doubt the digitalization is the right direction towards the future, so as to promote economic development and public safety during the pandemic.
“As one of the countries suffering the severe pandemic impacts, Vietnam’s economic prospects remain bright in mid-and long-term, thanks to the solid macro-economic foundation and political stability,” Chinh said.
“Vietnam identifies digital infrastructure, database, and platforms as a key part to accelerate digitalization,” Chinh noted, expecting local IT firms to help ensure success in this regard.
With such efforts, Chinh stressed the digital economy should account for 20% of Vietnam’s GDP by 2025, and 30% by 2030.
|Delegates at the opening ceremony.|
At the launch, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said the current pandemic situation raises the question of who can grasp the opportunity from Covid-19 to spur growth in new normalcy.
“Vietnam is determined to speed up the digitalization for rapid and sustainable development. Bearing this in mind, the country is committed to bolstering cooperation with other ITU members in digital transformation,” Hung said.
ITU Digital World 2021, an online event taking place in a platform developed by Vietnamese companies, would consist of a series of High-level Forum debates (September - November), Ministerial Roundtables (October 12 - 14), SME Awards and Masterclasses, and a Virtual Exhibition (October 12 - November 12),
The ministerial roundtable, scheduled from October 12-14 as part of the event, would discuss three main topics including cutting the cost of the internet, boosting digital infrastructure, and digitalizing daily life.
Statistics from the ITU noted over 90% of the global population living in urban and 70% in rural areas have been covered with 4G network since 2020, however, only 51% of the world have access to the internet.
The main hurdles to promoting internet access, the ITU suggested, come from the affordability, infrastructure, public awareness, and the availability of digital content in local languages.
Meanwhile, there are huge differences in the internet speed between countries around the world, while the growing number of internet and mobile phone users would put more pressure on the Government to invest in the infrastructure to meet the growing expectations.
According to the ITU, digital technologies are playing an active role in changing people’s lives. During the pandemic, the majority have to work and study from home. In this context, the public is expected to spend more time online, and governments around the world are required to equip their people with digital skills and not let anyone behind during the digital era.
Along with the ministerial roundtable, the Virtual Exhibition under the form of 2D or 3D would allow people from around the world to join and experience new digital technologies, products, and initiatives from major IT firms.
It is estimated that over 200 companies from 40 countries and territories would take part in this exhibition.
ITU Digital World, formerly known as ITU Telecom World, is an annual event and first launched in 1971 in Geneva. The event was changed to the current name under the proposal of Vietnam’s Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung.
Vietnam is also the first country to host the ITU Digital World under the virtual format and applying virtual reality in the online booths.
Last year, representatives of 149 countries and territories attended the ITU Digital World 2020, which showcased Vietnam’s capability in hosting global-scale level online events, and also served as an opportunity for Vietnamese IT companies to promote their brands and expand markets.