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People and businesses urged to take part in the digitalization: PM

Digitalization is seen as a major instrument for Vietnam to promote an independent and self-reliant economy.

Businesses and people should be the main beneficiaries and the driving force for the national digital transformation, so the Government encourages them to take an active part in this process.

 Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the meeting. Source: VGP

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stressed the goal during a meeting of the National Committee on Digitalization today [August 8].

According to Chinh, efforts from Government agencies and localities have been translated into strong progress in Vietnam’s digitalization and contributed to the socio-economic recovery.

The prime minister, however, pointed to the incompleted legal environment as the reason hampering the digitalization process, while a lack of investment in digital infrastructure, including the mobile and fixed broadband internet speeds behind the world average, means it has failed to create breakthroughs in the required infrastructure to support digitalization.

Chinh also expressed concern over the slow progress in the development of a national database on land management, ineffective data sharing mechanism among Government agencies, and the low rate of people using online public services (1.78% in 2020, 9.51% in 2021, and 18% in seven-month period of 2022).

With digitalization seen as a major instrument for Vietnam to promote an independent and self-reliant economy, Chinh called for greater determination from the entire political system in this regard.

He expected Vietnam to mobilize all resources for digitalization, including the public-private partnership mechanism, so that the process would truly benefit businesses and people.

For the coming time, Chinh requested each province/city to announce its respective digital platform to help address citizens’ concerns during the process of socio-economic development.

“There should be a digital tech community group to help people use digital platforms,” he said.

 Overview of the meeting. 

Positive progress

On the overall progress of digitalization in Vietnam, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung noted to date that all 22 ministries and ministerial-level agencies, and 63 provinces/cities have set up their steering committees for digitalization.

“Government’s operation has gradually been shifted to the paper-less environment, along with new services to support daily needs of businesses and people,” said Hung.

In 2022, Vietnam’s fixed broadband internet speed increased by 32.7% year-on-year, and that of mobile by 4.7%.

The database sharing network connects the central Government to 100% of districts and 97% of the communes nationwide.

In addition, the national database on citizens has been shared by 11 ministries and 14 provinces/cities;  68 million chip-based ID cards have been issued, and the use of ID cards for cash withdrawal at ATMs and accessing health treatment at medical facilities are being piloted.

The national database on insurance has currently managed data from 27 million households, including that 98 million people.

According to Hung, the national online public services portal is providing 3,699 public services and 2.1 million registered accounts, nearly triple the figure in the same period of last year.

Hung added that 41 out of 63 provinces/cities have set up 36,300 digital tech community groups with 200,000 members to help locals access digital services and apps.

Such progress has raised the added share of the digital economy in the GDP to 10.41% during the first six months of 2022, higher than the 9.6% share in the whole of 2021.

“The goal is to raise the proportion to 20% by 2025, along with 67,300 new tech firms, or an increase of nearly 3,500 compared to December 2021,” Hung said.

Meanwhile, the rate of businesses paying tax online has reached 99%, while cashless transactions rose by 76% year-on-year in quantity and 30.6% in value during the first five months of 2022.

Hanoi authorities considered the Industry 4.0 and Covid-19 pandemic not only a challenge but also an opportunity to raise public awareness about digitalization.

In a recent conference, Deputy Chairwoman of the Communication and Education Commission of Hanoi Party Committee Dinh Thi Lan Duyen said digitalization is an inevitable trend for development and the agency has set a clear roadmap for digital transformation in the city.

This would be based on providing digital skills and equipment for public staff and taking the majority of state apparatus's activities to the cyber environment.

In 2022, Hanoi targets to trim off 60% of the local administrative formalities; 30% of documents would be processed via online public services at stages 3 and 4; the results of document processing will be incorporated into the national public online services.

In addition, 30% of the people and businesses would not be required to provide additional information after having successfully conducted an administrative process, thanks to the sharing information system between different agencies.

The use of online services is expected to help cut the waiting time for businesses and people in processing administrative formalities by a maximum of 30 minutes.