Vietnam’s digital economy: great potential waiting to be exploited

October 5, 2023 | 07:51 am GMT+7

Experts have pointed out that there are segments in the digital economy of Vietnam which could see a boom if they can receive appropriate investments.


At the first national forum on digital economy and digital society held in mid-September, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said Vietnam hopes that its digital economy will make up 20 percent of GDP by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030. The digital economy index of each field and sector would be 10 percent at least by 2025 and 20 percent by 2030.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) at a recent conference of state management agencies reported that the ratio of the digital economy to GDP in the second quarter was estimated at 15.26 percent, while the figure was 14.96 percent for the first half 2023. This means that Vietnam will have to make every effort in the next seven years to reach its goals.

A report by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company released in late 2022 showed that Vietnam’s digital economy is the fasting growing one in Southeast Asia with the GMV (gross merchandise value) expected to grow by 28 percent, from $18 billion in 2021 to $23 billion in 2022, thanks to the 26 percent growth rate of e-commerce.

The report pointed out that e-commerce is leading the digital economy development in Vietnam. It is estimated that 90 percent of digital produce consumers plan to maintain and increase the use of e-commerce platforms in 2023.

Stephanie Davis, Google's vice president for Asia Pacific, said Vietnam topped the 2022 ranking with the fastest growing digital economy and e-commerce in Southeast Asia. Despite current difficulties in the region and the globe, the GMV of Vietnam is expected to hit $50 billion by 2025.

The driving force of Vietnam’s e-commerce is the consumer focus on food delivery services (60 percent) and online groceries purchases (54 percent). Urban digital users in Vietnam have the highest adoption level, of which e-commerce, food and foodstuff, and groceries top the list with 96, 85 and 85 percent, respectively.

Twenty-three percent of polled people said they watch video on demand at least once a week, while 19 percent said they spend time on online games and 16 percent listening to music. The figures show ample potential in Vietnam for the long term.

Experts commented that the development of Vietnam’s digital economy is heavily dependent on e-commerce. Meanwhile, there are many other fields in a digital economy which Vietnam has great potentials but has not exploited yet.