A Vietnam Investment Forum, themed “A New Era of Digital Transformation and Green Transition”, was held in London on March 30 to promote investment in Vietnam as the country is reopening the economy in the post-Covid-19 period, Vietnam News Agency reported.
|Overview of the forum. Photos: VNA|
The event is part of the “Vietnam days in the UK in 2022” held by the Vietnam Embassy in the UK, which drew the participation of UK Minister for Investment Lord Gerry Grimstone, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Cabinet Office Heather Wheeler, UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Vietnam Graham Stuart, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, and business representatives.
At the forum, Deputy Minister Khanh noted Vietnam would accelerate its digitalization in the upcoming five to 10 years.
According to Khanh, the country has swiftly implemented key components in this process, including a legal framework to expedite digitalization, which helps further promote e-transactions.
|Overview of the forum.|
Khanh also mentioned Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s decision to approve a project on the development of personal information databases and e-identification as part of the national digitalization process.
The decision targets 100% of the people and businesses using public online services in the 2023-2025 period would declare personal information only once for all administrative systems from local- to central levels.
Meanwhile, the booming of online payment with the participation of fintech companies is evidence that the country is on the right track to making substantial progress in digitalization in the coming time, Khanh said.
On the importance of digitalization, UK Parliamentary Secretary of the Cabinet Office Heather Wheeler noted the provision of effective digital services has become essential in the context of global recovery after the pandemic, where countries are focusing on trade and joining the global efforts against climate change.
Wheeler added for the past 10 years, the UK has been one of the leading countries in the world in terms of e-Government, while expressing hope both countries could strengthen cooperation in this regard.
|Chairman of the Board of FPT Group Truong Gia Binh|
Chairman of the Board of FPT Group Truong Gia Binh said Vietnam is one of the potential markets for digital technologies development. Binh referred to the fact the country stands 10th in the world in terms of technical training and an abundant IT workforce with over one million people.
“Every year, this figure would increase by an addition of 80,000,” he said.
Binh also noted Vietnam has a high rate of internet subscribers, with 70% of the population, and the rate of people using smartphones stands second in the world, behind China.
According to Binh, the ICT sector in Vietnam has been posting annual growth of 17% with the market size of US$125 billion in 2021.
“Vietnam ranks second in the world in terms of smartphones exports and sixth in software services,” Binh said, pointing out a growth rate of 25% despite the pandemic.
Regarding the potential for green growth development in Vietnam, Deputy Minister Khanh said the country’s weather conditions and geography make renewables, especially wind and solar power, an attractive investment option.
“With a long coastal line of over 3,000 kilometers, Vietnam has huge resources for wind power development. Meanwhile, with the total peak sun hours of 2,500 per year, the country is also in a favorable position to promote solar power,” he said.
A recent World Bank report noted Vietnam has a comprehensive network of installed solar power capacity of 16,500 MW in 2020 and is also among the top 10 countries in the world with the highest installed power capacity in 2020.
Given the huge potential in renewables development and the strong determination from the Government in sustainable development, Khanh said this would be the right timing for UK businesses to start investing in Vietnam.
“The UK could become leading investors in Vietnam in terms of digitalization and green energy development, fields that are fast becoming of strategic importance for the prosperity of countries around the world,” Khanh said.
On this topic, CEO of Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) Ben Backwell noted the huge cooperation potential between the two countries, especially as Vietnam has set out ambitious targets toward net-zero carbon emission.
With UK’s expertise in renewables development and Vietnam’s huge resources, Backwell expected a win-win situation for both sides.
Taking a more detailed view of Vietnam’s business environment, Chairman of Dragon Capital Dominic Scriven said Vietnam is fast gaining attention from global investors, thanks to political stability and openness in investment policies in a world of growing uncertainties.
Echoing Scriven’s view, CEO of UK-ASEAN Business Council (UKABC) Ian Gibbons said Vietnam is in the right direction in creating an open and transparent business environment.
He highlighted the close cooperation between the two Governments in promoting trade and investment, highlighting the strong support for UK businesses in Vietnam in the fields of education, healthcare to IT services.
Gibbons expressed his optimism that UK investments in Vietnam would help the country's growth, thanks to the sustainable nature of bilateral cooperation.
Since the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) kicked off last May, bilateral trade turnover in 2021 rose by 17.2% to $6.6 billion and doubled the figure in 2010.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) to Vietnam in 2021 surged by 157% year-on-year, placing the country among the top 12 investors in the country.