The strategy for developing Vietnamese tech firms plays an important role because it is related to the future and destiny of the country.

This was the message delivered by Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung at the first "Vietnam Digital Business Forum". VietNamNet would like to present the full text of the speech.

Doanh nghiệp công nghệ Việt Nam là để Make in Vietnam

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung speaks at the first "Vietnam Digital Business Forum". Photo: Trong Dat.

Increase of labor productivity, rapid and sustainable development, inclusive development, escaping the middle-income trap, turning Vietnam into a developed country, to be shoulder in shoulder with powers around the world, aspiration for a prosperous and mighty Vietnam. What is the general answer to Vietnam's thousand-year concerns? That is technology. The digital revolution, and especially its new development - the 4th industrial revolution - has created new opportunities and unique opportunities for Vietnam. Technology can effectively solve Vietnamese problems. Vietnam is a market for generating and developing technology businesses. Vietnam is also the cradle for Vietnamese technology businesses to go global, solving global problems.

Using human technology, developing new technology, thereby creating solutions and products to change Vietnam, change the world. And also from that, Vietnam will become a developed and powerful country. This is the first time we have held a National Forum to announce an important strategy, which is related to the future and destiny of Vietnam – the strategy for developing Vietnamese tech-firms.

“Make in Vietnam” will be our statement. Created in Vietnam, made in Vietnam, designed in Vietnam, manufactured in Vietnam. Vietnamese tech-enterprises are here for “Make in Vietnam”. If we continue to only assemble products, we will not solve the labor productivity problem or escape the middle income trap.

“Make in Vietnam” is also our responsibility as a global nation and a global citizen: In addition to the use and consumption of human’s technology, Vietnam must also contribute to humans, contribute to the development of technology of mankind.

“Make in Vietnam” will not only help Vietnam prosper, but also help Vietnam have a lasting peace, when contributing to the development of a mighty defense industry. The Vietnamese magic crossbow will only be made by Vietnamese. Worldwide, most technology firms have defense industries. The local media recently mentioned a Chinese technology start-up, LinkSpace, the first private rocket firm in China, which was founded in 2014 by engineers under 30 years old. Why can't young Vietnamese engineers do the same?

Nowadays, any company, whether providing products or services, is related to technology. Businesses will not be able to produce and market effectively without using technology, especially new technologies. The firms that apply technology to change products, change the way to make products, or change business models will help reshape the world. Technology companies, whether developing technology or manufacturing technology or providing technology as a service, are the most important factor in accelerating technology application in all businesses and the entire economy and society. That is why developing Vietnamese technology enterprises is considered a top priority.

To have technology businesses, market creation is perhaps the most important. Government is the largest spending household in a country. If it purchases technology products, it will make a significant contribution, especially in the early stage, to the creation of technology companies. National digital transformation quickly occurring throughout the country, in every field, from business to government and society, will also create an extremely large market for Vietnamese digital technology firms. This year Vietnam will announce its national digital transformation strategy - Digital Vietnam, aiming at a digital economy and society. Innovation takes place most smoothly in the digital environment. Therefore, digital transformation is considered a prerequisite for widespread innovation.

Technology is about talent. Vietnamese people are smart, quickly adaptable to change, able to tailor products according to individual needs. There are many overseas Vietnamese who have had a reputation for technology. It is time for them to return to Vietnam or connect Vietnam to build Vietnamese technology businesses.

 

Talent has a global character. Vietnam will create conditions for global talent to converge here. Allowing the testing of new technologies, new business models, with a Sandbox approach (a sandbox is a regulatory field where technological firms operate and test new ideas to help the local economy catch up with the latest global developments). The ‘special zones for technology’ and ‘special zones for innovation’, with the connotation of being places to test outstanding mechanisms for technology enterprises, can be considered by the Government. For talented people, the first thing is to be creative, have challenges… the bigger the challenge, the more attractive to them. The forum will listen to suggestions for Vietnam to attract global talent.

Some large Vietnamese businesses, in the service sectors, such as commerce, real estate, finance and other fields have been successful, have a market, have financial and government resources, have the spirit of entrepreneurship. It is necessary to invest in technology and industrial development, and form large-scale Vietnamese technology enterprises. This is not just a call, it is a responsibility to the country, to the prosperity of the country, and also for the future of these companies themselves. We have heard of a number of Vietnamese service companies announcing their new strategies for a technology, industry and service trade groups, such as Viettel, Vingroup, VNPT, and so on. Many countries have turned dragons, essentially on the basis of several large technology corporations. The government will consider facilitating the development of a number of large technology corporations.

Regarding innovation, we cannot help but talk about start-ups. Those are startups with truly new products and solutions that are surprisingly useful. These startups will quickly become global-size corporations. Our forum will listen to international experiences, experiences of Vietnamese people in the country and Vietnamese around the world, about innovation ecosystems, start-up ecosystems, from which there will be recommended for Vietnam.

Vietnam is also in need of technology startups. It is necessary and feasible. These are startups, initially using technology to develop solutions and products or provide technology services to other companies that innovate technology. Then the next step will be technology development. These small-scale technology companies will create a universal revolution in technology development and application in Vietnam. Vietnam always succeeds when it mobilizes the entire population. And also from tens and hundreds of thousands of these technology startups, a number of Vietnamese technology giants will be formed.

We also need a fund to develop Vietnamese technology. It will be better and more effective when this is a fund of the entire Vietnamese people, of Vietnamese people around the world. A prosperous and mighty Vietnam is the aspiration of the entire people, and the Vietnam Technology Development Fund is to realize that aspiration, so it should be an all-people fund, contributed by the people and supervised by the people. We can learn about the fund operating model from other countries that have had success with this kind of fund.

In addition to creating favorable conditions for Vietnamese technology enterprises to develop, for the first time we also propose solutions to create more challenges for businesses to develop. In many cases, difficulties and challenges are a key factor in creating top businesses. The forum will propose that the Government set higher standards for Vietnamese products, so that businesses are forced to innovate in technology.

We are and will live in a digital age, which will last for hundreds of years. It takes a country decades to become a dragon. The biggest transformation is the transformation of everyone in that society. And that is the story of education, from general education to higher education and to the lifelong learning environment. Among many educational innovations, perhaps ICT and foreign language teaching must be compulsory starting at general schools. Recently, it is said that each person must know 3 languages: mother tongue to maintain culture, English for international integration, and IT language to communicate with machines. And we all have high hopes for educational innovations that, first and foremost, the application of new technologies, ICT technologies in education. The first place to apply technology should be education. And the first Vietnamese technology companies should be educational technology businesses as well.

This is the first national forum on developing Vietnamese technology enterprises and the first on “Make in Vietnam”, which for the first time is discussing deeply about a story that is too big and too new for the country, so we cannot expect to solve all the problems. This will be a process of continuous learning, continuous adjustment. We will see each other many more times. But today is an important day, because we set an aspiration, a vision, and we see the first part of the way, and especially, we have faith in Vietnam's future in technology, in the development of Vietnamese technology businesses and their role in the country's prosperity.

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung

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