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Ball in Court for HCM City to Achieve Digital Transformation: Forum

VIETNAM, April 17 –

Deputy Prime Minister Lê Minh Khai speaks at the 2022 HCM City Economic Forum on Friday. Photo VNA/VNS

HCM CITY: Deputy Prime Minister Lê Minh Khái has asked HCM City to continue to improve its business climate and help companies achieve digital transformation to develop a digital economy.

Speaking at the 2022 HCM City Economic Forum late last week, he said the city had rolling targets for the size of its digital economy by 2030.

Its goal was to become a digital government and smart city by 2025.

To achieve the goals, you must mobilize all possible resources and resolve bottlenecks related to institutions, human resources, technology, and infrastructure.

It should strengthen international cooperation in digital transformation and learn from the experiences of other countries.

It must have policy mechanisms in place to help companies with digital transformation as they try to revive production and improve their human resource base to do so.

He also noted the importance of cybersecurity in the context of digital transformation.

Phan Văn Mãi, chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, said the city’s goal was to become a smart city by 2025, maintaining the role of economic locomotive and driving force of the South Key Economic Zone and the entire country.

By 2030, it would be a leading city in Southeast Asia in terms of digital economy, digital society, digital government, finance, trade, and science and technology, he said.

It would prioritize the digitization of 10 sectors (health, education, transportation, finance), banking, tourism, agriculture, logistics, environment, energy and human resources, he said.

Nguyễn Văn Nên, secretary of the city’s Party Committee, said the pandemic had shown that digitization had become necessary for business operations and people’s lives.

However, many companies, especially small and medium-sized ones, faced obstacles such as lack of capital, human resources and supportive policies, he said.

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Nguyễn Xuân Thắng, director of the HCM City National Academy of Politics, said that in developing its digital economy, the city had a great advantage in the form of the highest smartphone and internet penetration in the country.

“[Now]the post-pandemic is a good time to embrace digital transformation.”

Trương Gia Bình, president of FPT corporation, said the city had the largest IT workforce in the country.

It was also at the forefront of smart transportation and health applications, he noted.

“I suggest that the city should spend at least 2 percent of its annual revenue on digital transformation.”

Carolyn Turk, World Bank country director for Vietnam, said it was necessary for Vietnam to develop affordable infrastructure to develop a digital society, especially for public administration, business activities and people’s daily lives.

It needed to invest in 5G, data collection and processing technologies, he added.

Dr. Philipp Rösler, a former German vice chancellor and now an advisor to VinaCapital Ventures, said the city had a large enough population and economy and good governance, which would be good conditions to develop a digital economy, he added.

The city must become a “unicorn city of technology,” he added.

The annual international event, titled ‘Digital Economy: Driving Force for Growth and Development of HCM City’, was attended by some 1,000 delegates, including officials from the Government, various ministries and industries.

Last year, the digital economy accounted for about 15 percent of HCM City’s gross domestic product, or VNĐ191.8 trillion (US$8.27 billion), according to a study by the Institute for Development Studies. — VNS

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