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Vietnam plans network to aid digital transformation of SMEs

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This year, Vietnam will create a digital economic consulting network at the communal level to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their digital transformations. At a conference to step up the implementation of a programme to boost digitisation in SMEs, the Ministry of Information and Communications said that the network is one of the primary targets of the project.

The Ministry unveiled the programme at the beginning of last year. Through the portal, enterprises can learn more about digital transformation and suitable ways to approach it. They can also explore digital platforms that fit their specific requirements as the portal is linked to 23 Make-in-Vietnam platforms. As of 2021-end, the portal saw over 220,000 visits, and around 37,000 firms were able to access helpful information about digital transformation, according to a report. Data from a study on Vietnamese companies’ demand for digital transformation showed that 47% of responders consider digitisation essential but need further assistance in the process.

In 2022, the programme plans to engage with 30 more Make-in-Vietnam digital platforms and deal with 150,000 more enterprises, of which 15,000 are provided with necessary consultations. Presently, there are around 785,000 SMEs in the country. They account for nearly 98% of the total enterprises and contribute approximately 50% of gross domestic product (GDP). However, the COVID-19 epidemic has negatively impacted up to 90% of Vietnam’s SMEs, forcing 24% to halt operations.

In February, MIC proposed to replace the programme ‘Developing the IT and Electronics-Telecoms Industries until 2025’ with the project ‘Strategies to Develop the Digital Technology Industry in Vietnam until 2025’. This was considered a critical change to create sufficiently skilled human resources in the digital technology field, encouraging breakthroughs in the industry, as OpenGov Asia had reported. Under the plan, over the next few years, the Ministry will focus on developing a digital technology business ecosystem and upgrading the quality of human resources in the field. It plans to update and implement the skill standards for digital human resources and maintain the 6-6.5% contribution of digital technology businesses to the GDP.

MIC statistics reveal that in 2021, Vietnam had 64,000 digital technology enterprises (a rise of 5,600 units compared to 2020) and introduced several new made-in-Vietnam ICT products. The revenues of the ICT industry last year reached US$136.2 billion, 13.8% of which belonged to Vietnamese companies (US$18.78 billion). In 2022, MIC aims to increase the total quantity of digital technology businesses in Vietnam to 70,000 and the total revenues in the IT telecoms industry to US$148.5 billion, with an IT revenue growth rate of 9.2% and state budget contribution of US$3 billion.

The country plans to have 100,000 digital technology firms by 2025 and have at least ten firms compete in global markets. It also wants to have 10 localities with revenues of over US$1 billion from ICT and 10-12 IT zones. Vietnam’s government and industry have been heavily investing in digitisation and are seizing opportunities in ICT in a post-pandemic future. Southeast Asia is a leader in terms of digital transformation and Vietnam is one of the best performers.

By Samaya Dharmaraj – OpenGovAsia.com – March 26, 2022

Vietnam plans network to aid digital transformation of SMEs
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