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The Vietnam Government views digital transformation across the broader economy as critical to continued growth and prosperity. Its commitment is expressed in a number of policies, master plans and directives published over the last 30 years that have emphasized on the need to invest in critical infrastructure, build the ICT industry, promote e-commerce, and adopt technology as a means of lifting productivity.

Recent policy documents aiming at the building of the digital economy include:

- Decision No. 1755/QD-TTg (2010) issues theNational strategy on “Transforming Viet Nam into an advanced ICT country”;

- Decision No.1605/QD-TTg (2010) issues the National program on IT application in the operations of state agencies during period 2011-2015;

- Decision No.1819/QD-TTg (2015) issues the National program on IT application in the operations of state agencies during period2016-2020;

- Decision No. 392/QD-TTg (2015), which sets targets on information technology development through to 2020 with a vision toward2025;

- Decision No. 149/QD-TTg (2016), which sets goals for broadband and telecommunications infrastructure development through to2020;

- Directive16/CT-TTg (2017), issued by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to strengthen progress towards the 4th Industrial Revolution. The Directive 16 asked all heads of central and local government offices nationwide, from now till 2020, to focus efforts on preparing the human resources and developing the infrastructure needed to implement the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Thesedirectives and decisions address the need to dramatically expand Vietnam’snational information infrastructure, strengthen its human resource base(especially IT professionals), and liberalize its legal and regulatoryenvironment to encourage greater foreign investment and in the ICT sector.

DirectiveNo. 16 mentioned a number of crucial solutions concerning the development of ITinfrastructure, digital industries, smart agriculture, smart tourism and smartcity, and the facilitation of the innovative startup ecosystem. Directive 16directed the Vietnam Government to further support to technological modernizationof industry specifically through the following measures:

- Focusing on developing new digitalinfrastructure and networks

- Speeding up reform to encourage businesses toadopt new technology– including implementing e-government across governmentagencies and reviewing related regulation and services.

- Prioritizing the development of theVietnamese ICT industryin government policy and reform, and promotingthe take-up of smart technologies across all industries.

- Building the innovation eco-systemthroughfurther funding for scientific and research infrastructure and institutions,creating international relationships, and promoting tech start-ups.

- Building technological skillsthrough afocus on STEM education and training from early childhood through to adulteducation.

- Raising awareness at all levels, and in allsectors, of the opportunities and challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution,ensuring at all areas of Vietnam’s society and industry are prepared for thechanges ahead.

TheVietnamese Government also increasingly put emphasis on creativity and freedomto promote entrepreneurialism and innovation. It has linked increasedinnovation (including the development of the digital economy) as a driver ofeconomic growth, with increasing creativity and experimentation, and a cultureof openness and freedom. In 2016 Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment andthe World Bank published Viet Nam 2035: Toward Prosperity, Creativity,Equity and Democracy stating: In the long term, countries with more openand inclusive political institutions generate greater room for innovation andpersonal creativity, thus stimulating productivity improvements and higherstandards of living. For Vietnam, finding ways of building more open andaccountable political institutions will eventually be essential.

TheGovernment also puts efforts in improving the regulatory framework in order topush digital economy. Multiple agencies are charged with supporting andregulating different aspects of the digital economy in Vietnam, and no singleregulation governs all its aspects: the current regulatory framework is apatchwork of commercial regulations and decrees under various ministries. Themain agency regulating telecommunications and the ICT industry is the Ministryof Information and Communication.  Many otheragencies involved in supporting the digital economy in Vietnam are elaboratedin the following table.

Ministries in charge of the development of digitaleconomy in Vietnam

Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST)

Regulating activities related to R&D and innovation; promoting the application, research, development and transfer of key technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution

Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC)

Regulating and creating development plans in relation to publishing, news media, post, ICT, broadcasting and national information structure

Ministry of Education and Training (MOET)

Developing human resources in relation to ICT

Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA)

Ministry of Finance (MOF)

Regulating e-banking and e-finance; formulating policies on tax and finance to promote ICT application

Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT)

Regulating e-commerce and ICT application in industries

Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI)

Developing socioeconomic strategies and plans to promote ICT and digital adoption

Other Ministries and People commitees of provinces

Developing action plans and promoting ICT applications in related
areas and provinces

By Nguyen Thi Minh Huyen, Deputy Director General of Vietnam Ecommerce and Digital Economy Agency, Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam
Viewed: 3248 Updated: 13:46 | 07/21/2018