Vietnam needs to embrace technology to escape middle-income trap: PM

11-May-2019 Intellasia | The Saigon Times | 7:53 AM Print This Post

It is essential that technology be regarded as the crucial factor that could take Vietnam out of the middle-income trap and turn it into a developed country, stated prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a technology forum in Hanoi today, May 9.

The inaugural national forum on developing Vietnam’s technology companies kicked off earlier today. Themed “Aspiration, vision and strategy for a prosperous Vietnam” and with the action motto of “Make in Vietnam,” the forum acts as a catalyst for the development of a community of Vietnamese technological companies.

The forum brought together some 1,000 delegates representing the government, ministries, agencies and localities, along with hundreds of locals, foreign experts and businesspeople involved in the technology sector, reported the Vietnam News Agency.

By 2045, Vietnam aims to be a prosperous industrial nation where half the population is categorised as middle class. To achieve this, according to the government leader, the country has to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which refers to science and technology innovation and includes technological firms.

Phuc said that to escape from the middle-income trap, technological firms need to master technology and management skills, have the capacity to invent new technologies, take the lead in designs and manufacture high-quality products.

Also, these firms need to take a leading role in the socioeconomic development of the country, according to the government leader.

He said that economies built on natural resources and low-cost labour no longer have a long-term advantage. Therefore, digital, creative and sharing economies are growing trends, while innovation is a critical factor for businesses and the national economy.

He cited statistics in indicating that ecommerce has so far attracted some $3.5 billion to the Vietnamese economy, equivalent to 1.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The revenue will amount to $42 billion by 2030 if the country boosts the digital economy to raise productivity and lower costs.

He added that nearly 50,000 local firms currently operate in the information and communications technology sector, earning combined revenue of some $100 billion. Thus, the next target is to raise the number of firms to 100,000.

Rather than assembling and outsourcing goods, these firms need to manufacture their made-in-Vietnam products and then export them, said the PM.

“The potential for the development of Vietnam’s technological firms is enormous… As a market of nearly 100 million people, technology will permeate all aspects of life and create a smart nation,” he said.

According to the leader, the government has already adopted sound policies, though they need further improvements, while enhancing the business environment and national competitiveness to assist these firms.

He revealed that the government will soon lay out a strategy for the nation’s digital transformation later this year to create a market for technological firms.

During his opening speech, minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said that the establishment of a market for technological firms is the most important issue.

If the government purchases more technological solutions, this will contribute significantly, especially in the early stages, to establishing a generation of technological firms, he explained.

He pointed out that digital transformation will occur quickly in multiple fields across the country. The government, businesses and other social stakeholders will thus create a wide market for technological firms.

He also called on overseas Vietnamese to return to the country and contribute to its development.

“It is high time that many of the Vietnamese people abroad return to or connect with Vietnam to build up its technological enterprises. We will create (favourable) conditions for global talents to converge here and will allow them to test new technologies and business models,” he stated.

Speaking on the sidelines of the forum, Hung told the news website VnExpress that startups and small and large tech firms are all vital to the development of the industry.

Startups focus on new solutions that are unique and practical, while small tech firms use existing technologies to address local issues, such as shrimp or vegetable farming.

Large firms, such as tech giant FPT, online gaming firm VNG, real estate conglomerate Vingroup and telecom giant Viettel, are experienced and have the financial clout needed to develop technology that can help Vietnam compete in the global market, he said.


Category: Economy, Vietnam

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