Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently adopted a project to make Vietnam a strong developer in information and communication technology (ICT).
Under the project, the ICT sector’s contribution will account for 8-10 percent of the country’s GDP. The PM’s plan could potentially rank Vietnam in the world’s top 10 software and data services providers by 2020.
A Radio Voice of Vietnam (VOV) reporter interviewed Prof. Dr Do Trung Ta, PM Nguyen Tan Dung’s ICT envoy and Chairman of the National Council for Science and Technology Policy, on the issue.
Reporter: To reach the set target of making Vietnam a strong ICT developer, what major issues should Vietnam focus on in the future?
Mr Ta: Among target national projects, the Government regards ICT as a key area for boosting socio-economic development. To reach this goal, Vietnam needs to focus on developing high-quality ICT human resources to meet social requirements to meet the international standard. From now until 2020, Vietnam strives to have around 1 million ICT engineers and workers whom have achieved international standards, and so are capable of having access advanced technologies.
Vietnam also needs 80 percent of ICT university graduates qualified in professional skills and foreign languages in order to engage in the international labour market. Part from human resources development, it is also essential to develop the ICT industry with a capacity for research and designs to gain revenues through original products.
The widening IT application in life is also an important issue that Vietnam should focus on, as it will give fresh impetus for socio-economic development and increasing businesses’ productivity. The use of the Internet at schools will help the IT sector with the training of high-quality human resources, for example.
In addition, creating a good working environment and a healthy competition for ICT businesses is also an issue of major concern for the Government. If the issue is dealt with properly, it will help scientific research institutions and IT businesses make better contributions to the national economy, thus improving people’s living standards.
The working environment is comfortable with laboratories, international standardised technical infrastructure and qualified domestic and foreign experts.
Reporter: Developing the ICT industry sustainably requires close co-operation among businesses which use one technical infrastructure. However, cooperation is far from expectations. How will we promote further co-operation?
Mr Ta: It is necessary to raise awareness of the ICT industry to promote further it. If the State, businesses, organisations and individuals are all looking towards developing technical services people everywhere from urban to rural areas, even remote, mountainous and island areas will be able to use broad-band Internet and enjoy the latest ICT achievements. Thanks to ICT, people will also have more chances to find jobs that increase their income.
No country wants one business to do everything. The Telecommunication Law encourages all businesses to operate under the management of State.
ICT businesses that have experience and good infrastructure and services should help others to develop.
In recent times, linking in ICT businesses which use one common infrastructure to develop ICT products has fallen far below expectations because they do not agree on a common co-operative orientation.
Reporter: Many businesses still compete unnecessarily for profits. What should we do to prevent this?
Mr Ta: Vietnam issued the Competition Law, which refers to market shares for powerful or newly established businesses.
To ensure businesses do not violate the Competition Law, the Ministry of Information and Communications must closely control marketing and advertising programmes to prevent disorder in the ICT market. If the market is in disorder the State budget will fall and the State will suffer losses. For example, the ministry does not allow the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) to establish prices for services, and the VNPT must submit prices to the ministry for approval. This will help other businesses with chances to attract customers to develop.
Instead of unhealthy competition, ICT businesses should improve the quality of technologies, services and customer care.
Reporter: Thank you very much.