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Summit spotlights key role of IT in various sectors

Update: October, 30/2014 - 08:15
Scientists instruct farmers at Huu Lung's vocational training centre in Lang Son Province. Vietnamese farmers were urged to consider applying IT to improve their practices and earn more. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuan

HA NOI (VNS) — All people, from businessmen to farmers, could use information technology (IT) to improve their lives, Vu Duc Dam, Deputy Prime Minister, said yesterday at an international summit in Ha Noi.

Developed and developing countries could use the technology to raise their competitiveness and contribute more to global markets, Dam said in a speech to the three-day Asian-Oceania Computing Industry Organisation (ASOCIO)'s ICT Summit, a regional event for software, IT and communications.

He added that farmers especially should work more closely with IT to improve their practices.

And that ideas on applying IT to agriculture shared at the summit could be valuable for Viet Nam as it built a globally integrated, industrialised society.

The event focused on helping economies grow in general, in addition to in the IT sector.

"This is an opportunity for Viet Nam to study experiences from around the world and make IT an important factor in socio-economic development and agricultural restructuring," said Truong Gia Binh, chairman of the Viet Nam Software Association, which hosted the event.

Binh said the summit would help speed up the development of the Vietnamese IT industry, the economy and society.

Abdulah Kafi, the ASOCIO's chairman, said that Viet Nam was a prominent IT success story among Asian-Oceania countries.

The talks focus on restructuring agriculture and improving public services and technological foundations for smart development. Viet Nam first hosted the summit in 2003.

The present event brings together the largest international association of IT industries in the Asia-Oceania region, with 22 member countries, including Japan, South Korea, India and Sri Lanka. The United States has joined France, Britain, Spain and Canada in observing the proceedings.

By the end of 2013, Viet Nam had 22.4 million broadband internet subscribers, an 11.2-per cent year-on-year increase, reaching an internet density of 25 per 100 people, according to Viet Nam's 2014 White Book on Information and Communication Technologies.

Total internet bandwidth in 2013 reached 640,000 Mbps, an 83 per cent year-on-year increase, while the total number of internet users climbed from 31.3 million in 2012 to 33.2 million in 2013.

Meanwhile, the country earned US$34.7 billion from hardware electronics exports, a 52 per cent year-on-year increase.

It also spent $26.4 billion on hardware electronics imports, a 35.7 per cent year-on-year decrease.

Mobile phones accounted for 63 per cent of total export value, followed by automatic data processing machines with 9.82 per cent, printers with 7.25 per cent and integrated circuits with 6.26 per cent.

Integrated circuits accounted for 28.5 per cent of total import value while phones and spare parts took 32.4 per cent.

Meeting with PM

The same day, leading IT businesses from the ASOCIO had a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung during which they said they were interested in joining the information technology market in Viet Nam, which had grown significantly and had become a regional example.

Welcoming the delegates to the 2014 ASOCIO ICT Summit, Dung said the Government considered information and communications technology a key tool to increase productivity and competitiveness.

In addition to establishing a national Steering Committee on the application of ICT, the Government had approved a mechanism on ICT services in State-run offices to enhance the IT application and management efficiency, he noted.

Dung said he hoped the ASOCIO and ICT businesses would support Viet Nam in the field in the future. — VNS

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