A class of Google's Accelerate Vietnam Digital 4.0 programme in Hà Nội. The initiative is expected to help SMEs promote their business online. — File Photo
HÀ NỘI — About 500,000 employees of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will gain access to digital technology under a strategic co-operation agreement between Google and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
The MoIT and Google will increase the amount of digital skills training courses for employees provided under Google’s existing Accelerate Vietnam Digital 4.0 initiative.
Speaking at a ceremony held to announce the deal, Deputy Minister Cao Quốc Hưng said the programme is important because Việt Nam’s e-commerce market is developing steadily and the number of people shopping online is growing every day.
Hưng said Việt Nam witnessed a new wave of consumption as people have begun turning to the internet to search information, shop and compare prices.
“With the internet and new technologies, the lives of many Vietnamese people have become smarter, easier and more comfortable,” Hưng said.
"However, from a business perspective, it is still a challenge to use the internet effectively and find the right tools to automate businesses and sales to offer customers the cheapest prices," he added.
Hưng said the ministry appreciates the Accelerate Vietnam Digital 4.0 programme, which helps train a digital workforce to grow the country's economy.
“With the serious investment of Google and the participation of the ministry, this initiative will bring great efficiency to the Vietnamese economy, businesses and consumers,” he said.
Hưng said the MoIT considers the development of digital human resources in the digital era very important. Việt Nam will make use of its official education system, but also short-term training courses across the country.
“We clearly understand the scale of the country’s economy with 700,000 businesses with five million individual business households," Hưng said. "Training them requires great efforts from all. We need to mobilise social resources to reach the objectives."
The initiative was first launched in Việt Nam in June 2018. It has trained for nearly 85,000 people working in SMEs with 24 training models at six training centres in Hà Nội, HCM City, Đà Nẵng, Cần Thơ, Đà Lạt and Hải Phòng. It received the Vietnam Digital Award in 2018 and a Global CSR Award (Outstanding Award for providing knowledge and education) this year.
Scott Beaumont, President of Asia-Pacific for Google, said he believes the strategic partnership with the MoIT will help bring the initiative to a new level. The digital era carries a lot of opportunities, and Việt Nam is in a good position to take advantage of its potential.
“When Vietnamese people have more access to online tools, services, information and training, they have more opportunities to turn their dreams into reality,” said Beaumont.
Nguyễn Thu Hoài, CEO of Nương Bắc Chưng Cake (Nương Bắc square cake), a Vietnamese start-up, told Việt Nam News she had been applying what she learned from the Google initiative for more than two months. The number of new customers has increased by 15 per cent during that time.
“When I started using the Google maps app, the customers finding my online shop were not only Vietnamese people but also foreigners, helping me sell my products," Hoài said. "The most important thing is that I can use this app without fee to expand and develop my business."
At the ceremony, Google announced it would extend the Accelerate Vietnam Digital programme to reach more SMEs and help them access digital training courses more easily and conveniently.
The initiative will also send a bus to 59 localities nationwide by December 2020 to help businesses in rural and remote areas learn digital skills.
Trainees who distinguish themselves can become trainers to help expand the programme. — VNS