ICT industry: Aspirations for a powerful Vietnam

March 8, 2022 | 08:14 am GMT+7

2021 was a memorable year for the ICT industry of Vietnam as digital transformation took place in all fields, and technology became one of the pillars of the fight against Covid-19, for Vietnam’s economic recovery and development.


Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh samples Make in Vietnam technology products. (Photo: Le Anh Dung)

Ms. Nguyen Minh Phuong, an office employee in Hanoi, stopped recently in front of the lobby of a building where her office is located to scan a QR code on a PC-Covid application as required for the prevention and control of the Covid-19 epidemic. Phuong's smartphone app displayed information about her vaccination and medical information, so it was convenient whenever she is out of Hanoi.

Scanning QR codes with PC-Covid - a nationwide shared technology platform - has gradually become a habit of Vietnamese people whenever they go to the office, to public places, supermarkets, shops, restaurants or coffee shops. Online learning, remote working, online shopping…have also become familiar to many people in the past two years, since Covid-19 broke out in the country.

When the fourth wave of the epidemic (from April 27, 2021) broke out in many localities, technology became an important tool, helping to switch from prevention to attack. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh emphasized that technology was one of the spearheads in the fight against the epidemic, with the motto 5K + vaccines + drugs + technology + people's awareness and other measures. He increased the application of high technology to trace and control Covid-19.

The Ministry of Information and Communications established the National Technology Center for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, which grouped leading experts in the fields of information & communication, and health. As many as 18 leading digital technology companies in Vietnam mobilized more than 1,000 employees and thousands of tons of hardware devices to build applications and digital platforms to serve all stages of epidemic prevention and control.

Dozens of platforms, applications and even technological devices operated by Vietnamese engineers were urgently developed by the center, including three nationwide shared platforms: Electronic medical declaration platform and in/out management using QR Code; Platform to support sample collection and return of test results; and Covid-19 vaccination management platform.

The pressure to develop Covid-19 anti-epidemic applications in a short time left some applications imperfect and many people were skeptical about them in the early days of use. However, with the ultimate goal of serving the people, the "Make in Vietnam" shared technology platforms were unified by management agencies and linked data.

Applications for the prevention and control of the Covid-19 epidemic such as PC-Covid have become indispensable in helping people return to the new normal.

Promoting digital transformation

“The year 2021 for the information and communication industry was a very special year when the 13th Party Congress identified digital transformation as the driving force of economic development. The aspiration of building a powerful, prosperous and happy Vietnam will create spiritual strength for Vietnam to break through and rise to become a high-income developed country." This is the message delivered by Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung when he looked back on the year 2021 full of difficulties and challenges, but also left a lot of imprints on the entire information and communication industry.

With a new way of thinking and approach, in 2021, the whole information and communication industry recorded many positive results, despite the impacts of Covid-19. The ranking indexes in many fields of the information and communication industry were highly appreciated by international organizations. Revenue reached VND 33.4 quadrillion, up 9% over 2020.

Minister Nguyen Manh Hung often said: "Covid-19 is a hundred-year push". In fact, in 2021 Covid -19 was the push for digital transformation to spread to all aspects of economic, political and social life.

The results of digital transformation (digital government, digital economy, digital society) are clearly seen. Government leaders can hold online meetings with districts and communes across the country; 25 million students are able to study online when they cannot not go to school; people in some rural and mountainous areas have access to online medical examination; and agricultural products are sold on e-commerce platforms.

In 2021, the Ministry of Information and Communications joined other ministries, state agencies and localities in implementing the goals of the National Digital Transformation Program to 2025, with a vision to 2030.

The program to support small and medium-sized enterprises in digital transformation performed by the Ministry of Information and Communications has initially harvested sweet fruit.

Defining the digital economy and digital society as two inseparable sides, the Ministry of Information and Communications has introduced Make in Vietnam digital platforms to businesses and people, covering many fields; has implemented programs to develop digital skills in the direction of comprehensive universalization to the entire population; and has promoted digital transformation in all socio-economic fields, towards and for the people.

ICT enterprises receive national mission

2021 was also a special year for Vietnamese digital technology enterprises with their great contributions to the fight against the epidemic and recover the economy.

According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, the revenue of the ICT industry in 2021 was 136,153 million USD, a sharp increase compared to over 124,678 million USD in 2020. It is estimated that the ratio of Vietnam's value in the industry revenue reached 24.65%, a significant increase compared to previous years. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam's digital technology businesses still had impressive growth. Vietnam currently has 64,000 digital technology enterprises, an increase of 5,600 enterprises compared to 2020, and there are nearly 1,000 Vietnamese branded ICT products and services.

With the spirit of Make in Vietnam, many large enterprises have shifted from assembly and processing to digital product development and manufacturing to solve Vietnamese problems, and lead technology trends.

“The Make in Vietnam spirit helps us to proudly rise up. Over the past two years, Vietnamese businesses have mastered many digital transformation platforms. In 2020, more than 30 platforms announced by the Ministry of Information and Communications are all Vietnamese platforms. In 2021, many Vietnamese businesses also turned to research and master new technologies such as 5G, AI, and Big Data. This is something that hasn't happened before," said Mr. Nguyen Thanh Tuyen, Deputy Director of the Information Technology Department, Ministry of Information and Communications.

Most recently, at the National Forum for Development of Vietnam Digital Enterprises 2021, the Ministry of Information and Communications announced 35 more Make in Vietnam platforms, divided into six groups: Digital infrastructure; digital government; core digital technology; health, education, culture and society; financial, banking and business; and the fields of agriculture, transportation, logistics, industry and trade. Digital technology enterprises have received a national mission, developing digital transformation platforms to build the infrastructure of the digital economy and retain Vietnamese people's data resources for the people.

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said: “These digital platforms will help Vietnam quickly become a digital country, creating a driving force for sustainable growth, so that Vietnam can become a developed country with a high income by 2045. Building a strong, prosperous and happy Vietnam is a great thing. There will be great people and great businesses born.”