Phạm Hồng Hải, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, said at the opening of the Vietnam Internet Forum 2017 that Vietnamese authorities would always promote openness, transparency and ease of information access to everyone. — Photo vietnamnet.vn
HÀ NỘI — The huge advantages and attendant perils of greater internet connectivity were highlighted by officials and experts at a forum held yesterday in Hà Nội.
Phạm Hồng Hải, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, said at the opening of the Vietnam Internet Forum 2017 that Vietnamese authorities would always promote openness, transparency and ease of information access to everyone.
He said the internet had played an important role in propelling Việt Nam’s progress over the last 20 years.
Vietnamese Government agencies, businesses and organisations are constantly innovating and experimenting with the latest technologies, making every effort to keep themselves up-to-date, and exploring different solutions including e-government, digital economy or online consumption, he said.
Việt Nam has a higher than world average internet connectivity with 50 million users, or 54 per cent of the population, said Swedish ambassador Pereric Högberg.
“In terms of internet connectivity and development, Việt Nam is one of the forefront countries in Southeast Asia, with rapid mobility and growth…, there is a high possibility in the country of bringing together networks and entrepreneurs from different fields such as media, IT, or science.
“Việt Nam is really taking advantage of all these wonderful existing opportunities,’ Högberg said.
Hải warned that besides the tremendous benefits, the world was increasingly concerned about the downside of greater connectivity, like information security breeches, as well as harmful cultural and social impacts.
He noted that in the EU, “not only do they keep a tight watch on telecommunications networks and social network service providers, the bloc has also promulgated regulations, accompanied by strict sanctions, to prevent people from using social networks to spread fake and undermining news.’
Hải went on to say that even developed countries were regulating internet usage to limit negative impacts, protect privacy and prevent vandalism and terrorism, and that Việt Nam has long practiced such safeguards.
Vũ Thế Bình, Deputy Chairman and General Secretary of the Vietnam Internet Association, also spoke of the great benefits and risks brought by rapid internet development.
“The presence of the internet in Việt Nam during the past 20 years has instated a reliable technological and information infrastructures in every aspect of daily life, both socially and economically,’ said Bình.
He said the internet’s positive impacts were the creation of a series of business innovations and new economic modalities, not to mention helping public agencies become more open, transparent and accountable.
Akiko Fujii, Deputy Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said the role of technology and digital businesses was particularly important in ensuring the interests of the people.
She said the internet was a crucial component of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), especially for businesses, alongside its role in promoting freedom of expression and facilitating the exchange of ideas online.
Themed "Digital for Good," the forum focused on the internet as a means of providing information, generating digital solutions and opening up opportunities for socioeconomic development.
Key issues discussed included e-Government, Open Data, Smart Cities, and Social Media.
Organisers said that with its diverse content and multi-dimensional forms of interaction, the forum would contribute to internet development in Việt Nam over the next five to ten years.
They said the forum aims to an annual platform for inter-sectoral discussions and interaction where government officials, civil society, academia, business leaders, social entrepreneurs and investors and other stakeholders can come together and discuss ways to achieve an open, sustainable and creative society. -- VNS