Industry 4.0 offers great development opportunities for Vietnam: Deputy PM Hue

Friday, 2017-11-17 09:23:12
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Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue speaks at the symposium. (Credit: VGP)
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NDO – Each industrial revolution (IR) in the world’s history has created opportunities for a number of countries and Vietnam's development opportunities will be in the fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has said.

The senior government official was speaking at a symposium on competitiveness and inclusive growth in the context of Industry 4.0, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the World Economic Forum in Hanoi on November 17, gathering numerous domestic and foreign economists, leaders of enterprises, and representatives from financial investment funds.

Hue stated that the invention of the steam engine in 1784 helped the UK and Europe to emerge as the great powers of the first IR; the invention of electrical motor (1870) extended the influence of powers such as the US, Germany, and then Japan in the second IR; and over a short period of time, the introduction of semiconductors, electronics, computers, and the Internet in the third IR, helped the Republic of Korea, Chinese Taipei, and Singapore to grow from difficult countries to officially join the group of the most developed economies.

Currently, the 4th IR is driving the advent of a digitally connected world and rapidly changing the life and behaviours of each citizen, creating favourable conditions for increasing the capacity and formation of new business models and ways of doing business that low-income people can directly benefit from.

"The reality is that developing countries can completely catch up and overtake developed ones in Industry 4.0," the deputy PM said, referring to the fact that the vast majority of people in Europe and North America do not yet have a habit of using mobile payments; while 90% of the adult population in Kenya and more than 40% of those in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, or Namibia regularly use this convenient payment method.

Uber, the company often referred to as a typical example of Industry 4.0, had to "submit" the Chinese market for Didi Chuxing - a local competitor, and has been seriously challenged by Grab in Vietnam and many Southeast Asian countries.

Alibaba e-commerce company helps millions of small and medium enterprises, and household businesses in China to participate in the digital economy, increasing the country's competitiveness on a global scale. India is not out of the new development with a large number of successful businesses in the digital economy.

Vietnam's great chance will be in Industry 4.0, Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue has said. (Credit: VGP)

Therefore, Deputy PM Hue affirmed that "Thanks to Industry 4.0, for the first time in human history, every citizen can start a business. This is a great opportunity for inclusive growth."

Vietnam has many opportunities to approach and participate in the new technology game as it has a youthful domestic market of more than 93 million people and over 130 million mobile subscribers. 4G covers almost of 99% of districts, with nearly 60 million mobile broadband (3G, 4G) subscriptions. At present, 55% of the population regularly connects to the Internet and the figure will continue to rise. This is a good foundation for fast growing new business models based on digital connections.

Hue added that due to historical conditions, Vietnam had "missed" out on all three previous IRs. He stated that Vietnam's great chance would be in the 4th IR and the country must prepare seriously and comprehensively with a focus on grasping the opportunity to develop the country.

The issues faced by Vietnam in Industry 4.0 need to be clarified for the Government by experts, including reducing fluctuations and labour shifts when new business models and automation trends appear; training a high-quality, adaptable, and innovative workforce; creating a comprehensive and universal development environment, so that all people can benefit and no one is left behind; and keeping tight control of financial obligations and fair competition between types of business.

For its part, the Vietnamese Government will regularly work with the business community and experts to detect and remove barriers, develop necessary action programmes, and actively encourage a startup ecosystem for the community, Deputy PM Hue affirmed.

The Government continues to invest in and upgrade the digital connection infrastructure, including “hard” infrastructure, to help individuals, devices, and sensors remain connected at all times regardless of environment, with consistent high speeds over real time, as well as “soft” infrastructure, including issues related to standards and legal regulations for digital transactions, digital signatures, electronic payments, financial technology (Fintech) and intellectual property.

At the same time, the government will promote digitisation in the area of public administration, which is considered a precondition for achieving a unified vision of e-government with its e-citizens in a digitally connected economy.