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Mar 20, 2020 / 10:05

Covid-19 catalyzes digital transformation in Vietnam

The Covid-19 pandemic could prompt Vietnam to move forward in the digital economy.

Though the Covid-19 pandemic is taking a heavy toll on the country’s economy, it somehow compels Vietnam to further boost technology application in some industries such as online payment and e-learning, Dau Anh Tuan, director of the Legal Department at the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said at the workshop titled “Towards Building a Legal Framework Adapted the Digital Economy” held in Hanoi on March 18.

 Speakers at the workshop

Complementing Tuan’s idea, economist Vo Tri Thanh said the Vietnamese youth have had a timely digital response in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. “They have organized themselves in study groups via Skype, Zalo and Facebook. Others are selling their products via e-commerce channels and have earned good results," he said. 

These are the results of the government's advisory on movement restriction and so Vietnamese consumers avoid going out for shopping.

Both Tuan and Thanh agreed that with or without Covid-19, Vietnam should boost the digital economy. “The pandemic is enhancing our conviction on moving  forward in the digital economy or other countries might go ahead and take the advantage,” Thanh said.

Vietnam has advantages of young population and a dynamic economy as well as one of the leading countries in communications and information technology, Thanh said, also suggesting that to develop artificial intelligence (Al) in Vietnam, the most essential factor is data system (Big Data). “The winner is the one in possession of data,” he added.

Nguyen Duc Thanh, former director of the Vietnam Institute for Economics and Policy Research (VEPR), said at the workshop that the pandemic compels many countries to find new working methods, different from the current traditional way. Each country's approach will differ from one to the other, as it depends on the perception of each government and each leader.

“The current fight for Vietnam is not only to defeat Covid-19 but also to create vaccines faster and better and to adapt to the pandemic, the digital economy and Al,” he said.

Thanh from VEPR also commented that whether Vietnam could successfully catch up with the trend or remain left behind depends on the government, businesses and the people. “This is a challenge and also an opportunity to incubate startups on Al, technology and e-commerce,” he said.