Digital Vietnam: The Path to Tomorrow
By: World Bank
Seventeen months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the rollout of vaccines is providing hope that the pandemic will end, but the crisis has caused much uncertainty and suffering around the world. Already, the pandemic has transformed the way we live, work, eat, and move. While some of these changes are likely to fade when the global health situation is brought under control, history has taught us that a new normal is likely to prevail in the years ahead. All big shocks—pandemics, climate catastrophes, wars—have been followed by a series of deep and structural transformations.
In Vietnam, as around the world, social distancing and limitations on mobility caused by COVID-19 have accelerated the rise of the digital economy.This rise, which was already underway, has become much more broad-based in recent months. Up to 60 percent of local businesses in Vietnam have by now established or increased their online presence so they can provide services and sell goods to increasingly connected customers. The government has also digitized more than 2,000 public services and procedures. These are not just short-term responses that have helped the country cope with the difficulties of interacting physically during the pandemic, but they will likely engender deeper and longer-term consequences. This accelerated digital transformation has the potential to provide more information, speed, transparency, and ease of service delivery to the population, including to the most isolated groups. The diffusion of digital tools will reduce transaction costs for businesses, opening new opportunities for market development and diversification. To seize this opportunity, Vietnam will also need to mitigate risks arising from digitalization, including loss of low-skilled jobs to digitalization, concerns on data privacy and security while facilitating data flow. To make the most of this transformation, Vietnam will need to adjust its labor market to respond to the new demand for more qualified workers, upgrade its innovation capacity to facilitate the emergence of productive firms, and improve access to data and information to enhance decision making.
This edition of Taking Stock has two parts. Part 1 reviews the recent developments in the Vietnamese economy and discusses the economy’s short- to medium-term prospects, highlighting domestic and external risks. Part 2 examines what Vietnam needs to do to realize its objective of becoming one of the most advanced digital economies in the world while maximizing the benefits from this transformation.
This Report is attached below: