Danang to promote investment in hi-tech sectors
Employees work at an automobile assembly and manufacturing plant in Danang’s Hoa Khanh Industrial Park in this file photo. Danang’s enterprises are being urged to suggest ideas for attracting investment in hi-tech sectors at an upcoming conference, scheduled for March 1 – PHOTO: VGP
The central coastal city of Danang has urged local firms to pose ideas at an upcoming conference, scheduled for March 1, for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in sectors leveraging hi-tech applications in the 4.0 era, the Government portal chinhphu.vn reported, citing the municipal People’s Committee.
The municipal government on February 20 stated that the city will prioritize receiving FDI capital for the field of hi-tech agriculture to achieve sustainable growth, alongside other hi-tech-deploying sectors. It will also prepare feasible projects to attract investors from Japan, South Korea and the United States, according to this year’s investment promotion plan.
The 2019 spring conference is expected to gather nearly 500 delegates who are representatives of associations, enterprise unions and investors. This is the second time the city has hosted the event.
The conference will focus on reviewing investment promotion in 2018 and introducing plans for attracting investment this year; it will enable the city’s authorities to collect feedback and proposals from investors and local firms that have received both local and overseas investment so that the city can take steps to introduce new projects more efficiently.
The event will feature a signing ceremony after selecting consulting contractors to make planning adjustments for the city by 2030, with a vision toward 2045, and map out strategies to develop the city’s economy until 2030. Apart from that, the municipal government will grant investment certificates for approved projects at the event.
To date, the city has seen fresh investment approvals for more than 320 locally invested projects with total capital exceeding VND97 trillion (US$4.1 billion) and 675 FDI projects with total registered capital reaching over US$2.8 billion, according to the Danang Investment Promotion Agency.
Regulatory framework desperately needed to support household businesses: experts
Vu Tien Loc, president of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, speaks at the conference on February 20 – PHOTO: KINH TE DO THI NEWSPAPER
The enterprise and investment laws should be amended to stimulate the development of the private sector, especially the five million business households, and to make the business environment more liberal, said experts at a conference in Hanoi on February 20.
The conference was held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Ministry of Planning and Investment to canvass opinions about plans to amend the two laws, reported the Vietnam News Agency.
VCCI president Vu Tien Loc said that these laws have not only created breakthroughs in investment activity and business establishment but have also resulted in other pro-business laws being adopted.
The Government has adopted programs for the reduction and simplification of business conditions, changed the focus of governance from pre- to post-checks and created links for handling administrative procedures.
Also, the business and investment climate has changed for the better. The pace of business establishment in the last three years has reached its 20-year highs, while the private sector has made great progress, according to Loc.
However, there remain regulations that are impeding business and investment, so they should be revised to make life easier for businesses and investors.
Dau Anh Tuan, head of the VCCI’s Legal Department, said that the current business registration procedures are hailed as an achievement of administrative reforms, but the odds are still stacked against firms, such as in the identification of level-four industry codes for business registration.
According to Tuan, business households are obliged to complete many unnecessary procedures such as making announcements to tax and market surveillance authorities at their places of business. These shortcomings can be hindrances, which runs counter to the spirit of the reform.
He cited statistics as indicating that Vietnam has some five million business households, accounting for more than 30% of the country’s gross domestic product. However, the current legal framework for business households is inadequate, and there is a lack of equality between business households and companies.
Many policies on tax, accounting, land and labor, among other things, have made business households reluctant to convert themselves into companies, he said.
He pointed out that the amendments to the Enterprise Law should take into account measures to boost the transformation of business households into formal enterprises. The move is meant to create a favorable and fair business environment and enhance their governance quality to establish a generation of private enterprises that are large and strong.
Hence, it is critical to create a legal framework for business households to bolster their development.
“Why are business households, which employ dozens or hundreds of workers each, not regarded as companies? Their nature is, in fact, the same as private companies,” said VCCI president Loc, stressing that not recognizing business households as enterprises could be the greatest bottleneck of Vietnam’s regulatory system.
Loc said that the amendments to the Enterprise Law should regulate business households as a type of enterprise while creating favorable conditions, especially in terms of tax and accounting policies, for small and micro businesses.
Regarding the Investment Law, Tuan commented that the current investment procedures are more liberal but there is still an overlap among the relevant laws and policies.
He wondered whether the environmental impact assessment would be made before or after in-principal investment approvals were issued, whether investment procedures under the law are consistently applied and whether other specialized policies have the right to request additional documentation in their applications.
Also, the relationship between the Investment Law and other specialized laws, such as the laws on environmental protection, land and bidding, should be taken into consideration in amending the two laws.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Vu Dai Thang said the amendments of the two laws should create a more favorable business environment and encourage creativity and innovation. The issues related to business registration will also be simplified.
He added that this would promote an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit and ease market entry costs for businesses, especially in the context of global integration, when new-generation free trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership come into force.
He said the ministry would consider VCCI’s recommendations, admitting that the current policies of encouraging business households to transform into enterprises had not delivered the expected results.
New prices announced for coal-fired power generation
The prices for electricity generation in coal-fired power plants are set to range between VND1,677.02 and 1,896.05 per kWh during 2019, not including some tax obligations and costs, according to a ministry decision.
Baodautu.vn reported that the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has recently issued Decision No. 281 which prescribes the prices for power generation prices in 2019. These are used to negotiate power purchase agreements between the state-run group Vietnam Electricity and power generation entities.
Accordingly, the ceiling generation price for thermal power plants fueled by imported coal and designed with a net capacity of 1×600 MW is at VND1,896.05 per kWh. Meanwhile, the price for standard coal-fired power plants with a net capacity of 2×600 MW stands at VND1,677.02 per kWh.
The 2019 power generation prices have been calculated on the basis of net fuel consumption rates of 0.478 kg per kWh applied to the net capacity of 1×600 MW and 0.474 kg per kWh for the capacity of 2×600 MW.
Other indicators include the higher heating value (HHV) of 4.797 kcal/kg, the price of imported coal, which stands at VND1,737,978 per ton, and the reference exchange rate of VND23,350 per USD.
Last year, the electricity generation prices fixed for coal-fueled power plants reportedly fell in the scope from VND1,597.22 to 1,600.04 per kWh while the price for hydropower plants was VND1,090 per kWh.
The MoIT decision took effect on February 12, 2019.
Kookmin Bank opens first branch in Hà Nội
Hur Yin, CEO of Kookmin Bank, speaks at the opening ceremony.
Kookmin Bank (under Korean KB Group) opened its first branch in Hà Nội on the 25th floor of Landmark72 building on Wednesday after having received approval from the State Bank of Việt Nam.
Kookmin Bank will provide financial services to Korean Corporations and continuously promote investment in northern Việt Nam. It also plans to develop financial services for individual Vietnamese customers by developing a digital banking service.
CEO Hur Yin said Việt Nam is a great market in which to develop advanced financial services from Korea.
“There are 150,000 Korean people living in Việt Nam and 7,000 Korean enterprises operating in the country, the co-operation and exchange between Việt Nam and Korean will increase rapidly,” he said.
“Apart from financial activities, we will boost social responsibility. We do charity in Tuyên Quang and Phú Thọ Provinces. We also help the University of Social Sciences and Humanities compiling text books in Korean.”
Non-wood furniture exports on the rise
Vietnam is current the top exporter of wood and furniture in Southeast Asia, the second biggest in Asia and the fifth in the world, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
According to the department, the contribution of non-wood furniture to the sector’s exports is on the rise through years.
In 2016, exports of the non-wood products rose 15.1 percent year on year to 714.91 million USD. The growth in 2017 was 30.2 percent to 30.62 million USD.
In 2018, the sector recorded export revenue of over 1 billion USD, up 14.4 percent compared to that in 2017.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh said that Vietnam targets 20 billion USD in exports of wood and furniture in 2025 and gaining about 10 percent of the global market share.
Star apple shipment to US to increase threefolds
A farmer in Tien Giang collects star apples
The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang aims to ship 300 tonnes of star apples to the United States until the end of the 2018-2019 crop, raising the shipment of the fruit to 400 tonnes, or three times compared to the previous year.
This is the second year Tien Giang has shipped fresh star apple to the US. To date, the province has exported more than 100 tonnes of the fruit to the market.
Tien Giang is home to about 450 ha of star apple, yielding up to 4,500 tonnes per year, mainly in farms across the districts of Chau Thanh, Cai Lay and Cai Be. These farms grow over 100 hectares of the fruit which has been verified and labelled with code stamps to trace its origin.
Vice head of the cultivation and plant protection sub-department of the province Vo Van Men said to ensure quality of star apple for the US market, competent agencies have focused on technical transfer under GAP standards, food safety and trace of origin, as well as advised farmers to not use any herbicides prohibited in the US.
The first batch of Vietnamese star apples arrived in the US in December 2017, making Vietnam the first country licensed to sell fresh star apples to the demanding market, following years of negotiations, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Star apple is among six Vietnamese fruits allowed into the American market, together with litchi, longan, rambutan, dragon fruit, and mango.
Tien Giang boasts the country’s largest orchard area with some 73,000 hectares, which yield around 1.4 million tonnes of fruits a year.
Awards recognise Vietnamese firms with high-quality products
Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh (centre) presents the awards to businesses at the ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City on February 20
The 2019 High-Quality Vietnam Goods awards were presented to 542 businesses at a ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City on February 20.
The winning firms operate in a wide range of industries, including confectionery, food, dairy products and beverage; fresh agricultural products; stationery; cosmetics; textile-garment, leather; plastics; metalwork and household machinery; construction materials; and fertilizer.
Some of these businesses include ABC Bakery Co. Ltd, Vinamit JSC, Thien Long Group JSC, Kem Nghia JSC, and Viet Tiep Lock JSC.
They were selected through a survey by the High-Quality Vietnamese Goods Business Association.
It directly interviewed 12,000 households and 5,400 sellers in 12 big provinces and cities in the northern, central – Central Highlands, southeastern and southwestern regions. An online survey was also conducted by using a specialised app, and it received 4,000 responses from consumers nationwide.
The survey also took into account the transparency of businesses’ activities and local managerial agencies’ feedback on their law compliance.
Chairwoman of the association Vu Kim Hanh said over the 23 years of the High-Quality Vietnamese Goods survey, many enterprises have developed sustainably. Useful information of the survey has given them an insight into developments of the market amid the enforcement of free trade agreements.
Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh noted the High-Quality Vietnam Goods awards not only recognise businesses’ efforts but also encourage the improvement of their product and service quality, competiveness, operation efficiency and integration into the global economy.
More practical solutions needed to foster scientific-technological businesses
Introducing and transferring technological devices greatly contribute to the development of STBs.
Vietnam has always prioritized the growth of scientific-technological businesses (STB), and achievements have been reached recently. However, the fact remains that current policies somehow do not consider science-technology as the motive force or the key point to improve working performance and product quality for the sustainable development of the whole country.
According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, there are 386 businesses nationwide certified as an STB, an increase of 83 compared to 2017. In addition, 43 organizations are classified as high-tech ones, and more than 2,000 IT companies meet the requirements to be considered as an STB.
These companies last year offered over 22,738 jobs to the society, gaining a total revenue of VND105,771.7 billion (approx. $4,559 million), including around VND10,350 billion ($446 million) from scientific-technological products.
Particularly, in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), the Department of Science and Technology has launched various programs to support the establishment of STBs. A new club specially for this purpose is going to be formed soon to connect businesses to educational institutes in order to aid the research and implementation process of scientific-technological products. As stated by Mr. Chu Ba Long, Deputy Head of the Division of Technology and Technological Market Management, necessary operation policies for this club have already been finished. The club is going to welcome all related experts, scientists, as well as media units.
Thanks to a rise to 64 STBs until now, HCMC has become the place with the most STB in the country.
Sadly, these STBs still encounter numerous obstacles in production and trading activities like registering for intellectual property or new products, researching and developing new technologies.
Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Pham Cong Tac said that in 2019, one key mission of the ministry is to mobilize possible resources and investment, especially those in businesses, for science-technology and innovation. This could be done via projects, particularly high-tech and environmentally friendly ones, or cooperation with foreign countries so that Vietnam can successfully enter the global value chain.
In a meeting related to science-technology recently, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam judged that sufficient awareness should come with suitable actions, and that giving priority to science-technology does not merely mean providing more finance but also involves introducing appropriate policies to completely tackle redundant administrative procedures or financial mechanisms in scientific research while accepting that doing research entails risks.
He commented that as long as there is a good and transparent policy for resource allocation so that organizations and individuals can exploit them effectively, along with strong tax and financial mechanisms, businesses will truly become the center in the national innovation system.
When mentioning the establishment of new private research centers last year in hope of obtaining more internationally worthy studies and intellectual property, he insisted on the need to connect these centers to those of the state and in universities.
The Deputy Prime Minister also asked that the Ministry of Science and Technology must continue to boost conversations with businesses and associations to solve any arisen problem while issuing more encouraging policies for domestic scientific-technological products to enter both local as well as international markets.
Another request from the Deputy Prime Minister is a breakthrough method for STBs to be the center of the national innovation system. This means instead of forcing the forming of a fund for scientific research, it is advisable that better resource allocation be introduced, especially regarding tax policies, so that businesses realize the attractive benefits of investment in research and development.
As an illustration, any enterprise that assigns more capital for science-technology activities is entitled to receive preferential treatment on tax and resources.
The Deputy Prime Minister stated that the national science and technology must develop on transparent economic policies on resource allocation and market approach.
Laboratories and businesses in HCMC need stronger bond
It is critical to form a closer connection between laboratories and the scientific as well as innovative communities in order to improve research quality and meet high demands of the market, voiced participants in the recent meeting between representatives of typical labs in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and the city Department of Science and Technology.
According to Deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Science and Technology Chu Van Hai, there are now more than 900 laboratories in the city, yet only 165 of which are qualitied by the Bureau of Accreditation to deliver services for businesses.
Certain enterprises have their own labs, but these are not well equipped and in urgent need of support from educational institutes.
Obviously, the participation of large –scale labs or testing centers to a certain extent ensure the results from smaller labs.
Among the current laboratories in HCMC, many belong to universities, hi-tech parks, biotechnological centers. For instance, the HCMC Center of Analytical Services and Experimentation (CASE) possesses an Open Lab for Research, Application and Development (RAD Lab) especially for students and university lecturers, small and medium scale businesses, the startup community in the fields of physics and chemistry. Having state-of-the-art devices and machines that can meet international standards, this lab provides a professional environment for the science-technology development in HCMC as well as the southern region.
Representatives of the Quality Assurance and Testing Center 3 (QUATEST 3) and other labs all agreed that it is meaningful and necessary to establish a strong bond between labs in HCMC, which are diverse and in a great number, and the scientific as well as innovative communities. Via this connection, labs are able to precisely identify the market’s demands and then can invest in advanced equipment. This, in turn, will aid the research quality improvement process, better serve scientists or manufacturers in need, and help the whole society in general.
Being well aware of this, the HCMC Department of Science and Technology has launched several programs and introduced policies to improve the capability of labs / testing centers in the city. To promote training activities and the preparation of sufficient research materials, in the period from 2016 – 2020, the municipal authorities has also delivered financial aid of VND70 million and 250 million per year ($3,017 and $10,776) for each regular and focused laboratory, respectively. This investment in labs means to tackle the lack of experimental equipment synchrony, the low use rate due to a shortage of experts or shared use programs, or the capacity and quality improvement limit.
This subsidy is a wonderful chance for labs to increase their research potential and hopefully introduce scientific solutions for the socio-economic development of HCMC. Thanks to it, many testing centers are able to upgrade their devices and train their human resources more properly to apply management systems in accordance with international standards and to come up with more precise experiment results.
In addition, focused laboratories are supposed to meet certain global and regional criteria, while having sufficient technical materials or certificates.
As stated by Ms. Chu Van Hai, the investment has been able to help labs become more customer-oriented, offering appropriate services for businesses. They can now act as a Research & Development Department of a company.
In the near future, the HCMC Department of Science and Technology is going to increase practical activities to promote the connection between existing labs and companies without an R&D department to increase the scientific research level, she added.
Meanwhile, Ms. Bui Thanh Hang, Director of the Center for Statistics and Science – Technology Information (CESTI), shared that its information portal Techport.vn has three main sections of technology & equipment, consultation, and partnership seeking. Via this portal, organizations can offer scientific-technological services to technological transfers or lab connections and product evaluations while businesses can seek necessary services to support their own production, and laboratories can introduce their capacity as well as services.
Viettel’s Metfone keeps 48 percent market share in Cambodia
Metfone, the first brand of Viettel abroad, has recently held a ceremony to celebrate its 10th anniversary of business in Cambodia’s capital city of Phnom Penh.
Since its debut on February 19, 2009, Metfone was the telecommunications service provider with largest infrastructure in Cambodia, providing services at all cities and provinces across Cambodia. Within two years, the company has won 48 percent of market share to become the top telecommunications service provider in the country and maintained its position until now.
By the end of last year, Metfone had helped Viettel to pay back its dividends of nearly US$250 million, six times higher than initial investment capital. Especially, this market has paid back investment capital within four years of operation.
Mr. Le Dang Dung, Viettel’s general director and acting chairman, said that Metfone is the first brand that marks the company’s effort to enter global market. The company is in the progress of modernizing Metfone by applying the most advanced technology such as: 5G, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and big data for Metfone to complete its new mission.
At the 10th anniversary of Metfone, the Royal Government of Cambodia awarded Viettel Cambodia Private Company the first-class labor medal for its business result and contribution to telecommunications industry and the country.
HCMC limits building resettlement houses with state budget
HCMC will limit spending the state budget for new resettlement projects but call on businesses to invest in the projects to meet demand in the city, said deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen at the meeting on the management of houses and housing land for resettlement purpose yesterday.
According to Mr. Nguyen Van Danh, deputy head of the Department of Construction, HCMC is expected to implement 300 urban planning projects affecting 19,000 households from now until 2020; in the phase from 2021-2025, 226 projects will be carried out impacting 25,000 households. So the total number of families affected by the projects will be 44,000 by 2025.
Preliminary survey shows that 16,800 households want to receive compensation and seek new accommodations by themselves while 27,200 cases want to be resettled by the local government.
HCMC leaders hope that the resettlement program will comprehensively and harmoniously solve all aspects of life, ensure new accommodation for residents with suitable living space and synchronously invest technical and social infrastructure in association with welfare policies including job training to provide better employment opportunities to improve the life of residents after removal.
At present, HCMC has 12,197 unused resettlement apartments and housing land lots. Of these, 5,075 apartments must be auctioned to reclaim capital. Mr. Tran Vinh Tuyen said that the city would use up resettlement apartments which have been built and limit new projects using state budget at a maximum level.
Projects that have been built for five years but not been used will be auctioned to reclaim funds and prevent apartments from running downgraded.
In the upcoming time, districts must register their resettlement apartment use demand with the Department of Construction annually and be responsible for their registered numbers. At the end of the year, they must report to the department on how they have used resettlement housing fund. This year, they have been asked to register in early April at the latest.
From now until 2025, the city will continue facilitating investors’ participation in building social housing projects with non-budget capital, review social housing land fund in districts and use revenue from commercial housing projects and new urban areas, which investors are responsible for arranging 20 percent of projects’ land fund for social housing development under the form of payment to take the initiative in resettlement housing source for the city’s urban planning program.
Soc Trang seeks stronger investment from Indian firms
Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Parvathaneni Harish speaks at the ceremony to put Chua Moi bridge into operation
Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Parvathaneni Harish led a delegation to the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang on February 21 to learn about investment opportunities in the locality.
During a reception for the guests, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Chuyen briefed the delegation on the social-economic development, strengths, and potential of the locality.
Chuyen said that Soc Trang is calling for investment in the fields of wind and solar power, tourism, and high-tech agriculture.
He noted that many Indian firms such as Tata Power, Suzlon Energy, and Adani have sought to invest in the Long Phu 2 thermal power plant in Soc Trang, adding that Adani is planning to continue investing in the project with a total capital of over 2 billion USD.
He expressed his hope that the Indian Embassy would pay attention to encouraging Indian enterprises to expand their investment in the locality in the time to come.
For his part, the Indian Ambassador pledged that he will do his utmost to promote the Indian government and investors’ cooperation with Soc Trang in researching and developing technology and energy, training human resources, healthcare, and telecommunications. He also committed to enhancing the provision of official development assistance (ODA) for the Vietnamese locality.
The embassy will pay heed to calling for Indian firms to invest in Soc Trang, especially in low-price automobile manufacturing, IT, mechanicals for industry, and electrical technology.
Earlier the same day, the ambassador attended a ceremony to put Chua Moi bridge into operation in Chau Thanh district, which was built with the funding of 50,000 USD from India’s Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) fund.
Seminar discusses compiling social housing policies for Vietnam
Dong Mo – Dai Kim social housing project in Hoang Mai district, Hanoi
The Ministry of Construction, in coordination with the Korea Land and Housing Corporation held a seminar in Hanoi on February 21 to discuss the building of general social housing policies in Vietnam for the 2021-2030 period.
In Vietnam, the demand for social housing is urgent, especially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as the country is entering its golden population period with 70 percent of the population at working age. Meanwhile, land for housing, transportation, and services remain limited.
In 2011, the Government issued the national housing development strategy for 2020. The Ministry of Planning and Investment recently submitted a report to the Prime Minister on the assessment of a proposal on a project on building general social housing policies for the 2021-2030 period, which uses non-refundable aid provided by the Republic of Korea’s (RoK) Government via the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
Deputy Construction Minister Nguyen Van Sinh said social housing development so far has only met about 33 percent of the housing strategy’s target of 12.5 million sq.m of social housing. This is attributable to limited capital, a lack of attention from local authorities, and improper mechanisms and policies that are yet to encourage realty developers to invest in social housing.
A Korean expert said since the 1970s, the RoK Government has invested in housing companies and launched effective models to develop small-scale houses for low-income households.
The Government also worked to stabilise the housing market for low-income families by increasing supply and tightening real estate speculation, which has afforded many citizens chances to own homes at reasonable prices.
Dr Moon Hyo-gon, the project’s director, said major beneficiaries of social housing are low-income households in urban areas and workers in industrial zones, adding that the project will analayse the housing demand during urbanisation, and review relevant laws and mechanisms in Vietnam, towards the goal of outlining a strategy for social housing as part of the national housing development strategy for 2021-2030.
He suggested that Vietnam adopt a sustainable financial system, pooling together both private and foreign resources for the effort.
Nordic experts share tips on digitization
Adam Lebech, deputy director general of the Danish Agency for Digitization, shares Denmark’s experience in digital transformation at the seminar
Experts from four Nordic countries—Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden—which are widely acknowledged as digital frontrunners, today, February 21, shared with Vietnam their countries’ experience and lessons learned throughout the digital transformation process.
At a seminar, titled “Continuity and Change in the Nordic Society Model—Adapting to a Digital Age,” jointly held by the four Nordic embassies in Vietnam and the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management in HCMC, Norway’s Ambassador to Vietnam Grete Løchen, in her opening remarks on behalf of the four Nordic countries, emphasized the importance of digitization, saying that digital solutions, which are considered tools for renewal, simplification and improvement, contribute to improved efficiency and better outreach to people in need.
Digitization brings benefits but also implies challenges, she added.
Danish Ambassador to Vietnam Kim Højlund Christensen shared this view, saying, “As in the case with globalization, with digitization follows several dilemmas and challenges. However, we must be prepared to adapt and exploit the opportunities brought on by new technologies, using them to produce more prosperity and welfare for our citizens.”
Adam Lebech, deputy director general of the Danish Agency for Digitization, said that digital government creates transparency, which can lower corruption and enhance local residents’ trust in the authorities.
However, it requires the close coordination of the relevant agencies, including policymakers, tech firms and local agencies, Lebech said, stressing that “great services (also) require back-office integration.”
In response to attendees’ questions on how Denmark can ensure data security, Lebech said the data of service users must be encrypted. Besides this, Denmark has set standards for data security and issued regulations to ensure the serious application of these standards.
The Vietnamese authorities should also focus on citizens’ and businesses’ demands to develop e-government and listen to their feedback for gradual improvement.
For her part, Dr. Paula Saikkonen, a senior researcher at Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare, advised Vietnamese authorities to ensure the quality of healthcare and education services as well as social welfare policies for all people. Both the rich and the poor should enjoy the same services, as equality builds solidarity in society, she noted.
“We pay a lot of attention to human capital development, and the Nordic region has one of the most highly educated populations in the world. In our open and connected societies, we believe that individuals should be given opportunities to develop, take responsibility and dare to challenge prevailing norms and structures,” said Ambassador of Sweden to Vietnam Pereric Högberg.
Citizens should be helped to be free-thinking, tech-savvy and dynamic, Högberg emphasized.
The seminar attracted more than 100 researchers, scholars, policymakers and other stakeholders representing Fulbright; key departments of HCMC; business associations; and civil society organizations. This is the first joint event between the Nordic countries and the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management, which offers a good opportunity for the Vietnamese audience to discuss and draw from the experiences and lessons learned from the Nordic region’s digital transformation process, particularly from a policy-making perspective.
Vu Thanh Tu Anh, Dean of Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management, stressed that Nordic development lessons are valuable inputs for Vietnam in its search for a new development model for years to come. Vietnam’s government has begun to develop a socioeconomic development strategy for 2021-2030, in which it will define a new economic development model geared toward innovation, inclusiveness and sustainability.
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