Support needed for digital technology development

January 26, 2024 | 09:40 am GMT+7

Vietnamese digital technology enterprises are currently thriving with the creation of more digital products and applications. According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, from 2019 to the present, the number of digital technology businesses has soared by 30%, and the revenue of the digital technology industry has expanded by 32% while the ‘Make in Vietnam’ proportion of digital industrial products rose from 21% to 29%.

In particular, software production for foreign countries surged by 43%. The country currently has more than 1,400 digital technology businesses, with total revenues approaching 10 billion USD.

Despite positive results, this field still faces many challenges. Currently, digital technology businesses have low added value of digital-technology products and services and poor capacity for innovation, research and development of new technologies. On the other hand, companies in this area have yet to focus on promoting the quality and brand of products and services, and they lack technology orientation and technology ecosystem in addition to the shortage of quality data resources and effective data sharing and exploitation platforms.

Many digital technology businesses are small and medium, with insufficient financial potential to invest in new products, technology platforms and digital solutions. Dependent on foreign investment, domestic businesses face disadvantages, affecting the sustainable development of Vietnam’s technology industry.

Notably, the output of the digital technology industry depends heavily on foreign markets such as hardware, software, and digital content, which are mainly produced for export. Digital technology businesses are encountering competition with foreign enterprises.

Many private businesses have difficulties accessing the data of units and organisations to develop their products and services, leading to a lack of means of production (data) and challenges in fostering production. Domestic human resources in information technology are advantageous, but high-quality human resources in this field have not been formed.

The Party and State have issued many guidelines and policies demonstrating their determination to boost the technology industry due to the importance of digital technology in socio-economic development.

Resolution No. 23-NQ/TW dated March 22, 2018 of the 12th Politburo pointed out the orientation for building the national industrial development policy until 2030, with a vision to 2045. Developing the information technology industry and electronics industry is the main trend while developing the processing and manufacturing industry is the focus of the policy. The development of the smart manufacturing industry is a breakthrough while concentration is also placed on boosting the green industry. By 2030, Vietnam will prioritise the development of several industries, including information technology and telecommunications and the electronics industry, meeting the requirements of the Industrial Revolution. 4.0.

The government and relevant ministries and sectors need specific policies and regulations on building, operating and maintaining a database on the quality of ‘Make in Vietnam’ digital technology products and services. More preferential policies should be provided for digital technology businesses, such as corporate income tax, import tax, and loan incentives. Besides, there needs a policy to control the quality of ‘Make in Vietnam’ technology products and services through unified criteria set for national digital transformation platforms and criteria set for digital technology products and services that should be limited for foreign ownership.

Digital technology businesses must take quality and the ‘Make in Vietnam’ brand as the foundation while focusing on training high-quality human resources. The government should prioritise budget allocation for digital products and services while building policies and economic packages to support businesses in training and access to digital technology. It is also necessary to strengthen connections and international cooperation to seek new markets. The country’s shared data resources are gradually formed, standardised and shared while digital technology businesses should focus on production and commercial activities with priorities given to digital infrastructure, digital services and digital content.