Policy key to boosting Vietnam’s digital economy

Institute for Strategic Leadership Development and Research


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Policy key to boosting Vietnam’s digital economy

Viện Nghiên cứu Phát triển Lãnh đạo Chiến lược

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The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s key task is to evaluate the building and adjustment of policies to support the development of the digital economy, according to Deputy Minister Cao Quoc Hung.

Along with e-commerce, Hung said that the digital economy is both a challenge and opportunity for Vietnam to resolve major issues in economic development, including the issuance and revision of policies to make Vietnam more competitive globally.

According to a report from the MoIT’s Vietnam e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency, Vietnam’s digital economy has been developing in terms of infrastructure and markets in the last decade.

There are currently 64 million internet users in the country, accounting for 57 percent of the population. With the increasing penetration of the internet, mobile devices and social networks, more and more individuals are joining the e-commerce network.

The report shows a quarter of 1,000 surveyed people make transactions through Facebook or Zalo.

In 2018, the country’s e-commerce growth reached 30 percent, marking total retail revenue of 8 billion USD. This figure is expected to reach 13-15 billion USD by 2020.

The digital economy is expected to bring many opportunities to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, including in foreign countries. However, with the rapid development speed of the digital economy and the opening of cyberspace, Vietnam is facing difficulties because of limited awareness and low internet skills.

According to the report, the legal system and enforcement agencies are still weak. At the same time, popular forms of transactions including cash payment and cash-on-delivery payment are still major obstacles to increasing costs for society, businesses and consumers.

“Therefore, the development of digital economy and smart industry is an urgent task in Vietnam today to help accelerate the process of industrialisation and modernisation,” the report said.

Deputy Director of the Ministry of Sciences and Technology’s Hi-tech Department Dao Ngoc Chien said that enterprises need to integrate digital technology and promote solutions for production and business based on digitisation.

“Along with that, enterprises will have to optimise their business models, develop new skills for each individual and organisation and effectively use smart supply chains,” Chien said.

“There must be an intellectual property management solution in the digital age suitable for new business models and cooperation models,” he added.

In science and technology, Chien said it is necessary to have policies encouraging enterprises to transfer and apply new technologies. Meanwhile, it is important to complete a legal framework for the application of technology, promoting the development of digital infrastructure as well as boosting the application of information technology in the entire economy.

According to Ousmane Dione, Country Director of the World Bank in Vietnam, to raise competitive capacity, Vietnam must build a legal environment that encourages innovation and competition, while protecting customers through effective regulations and coordination among Government agencies.

He said that Vietnam also needs to focus on policies to access secure payment services and provide e-commerce payment opportunities for customers and domestic and foreign businesses.