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VN must become IT powerhouse: Prime Minister

Update: September, 09/2018 - 10:00
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc presided over a working session with the Ministry of Information and Communications in Hà Nội on September 8. — VNA/VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam must strive to become a powerhouse in the field of information technology, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said, adding that the Ministry of Information and Communications, as the State management agency in the field, should lead the efforts towards this goal.

Speaking at a working session in Hà Nội on September 8 with the Ministry of Information and Communications, the PM urged the ministry to create an environment conducive to high technology, play a guiding role in digital transformation and industry 4.0.

He also instructed the ministry to enhance its management of the press and social media, and develop human resources for national construction and development.

Pointing out the sector’s shortcomings, the PM said many shortcomings remain in press planning and management work, resulting in the commercialisation of press coverage which erodes public trust in the press. Meanwhile, policy consultation remains slow and of poor quality.

Phúc also pointed to a serious problem that Việt Nam is one of the countries highly vulnerable to malware infection via internet-connected multimedia devices.

Outlining the direction and tasks for the ministry, the PM said the ministry must guide the efforts to build a digital economy, an e-government and develop e-commerce in the context of the fourth industrial revolution.

The ministry was required to work closely with the Party Central Committee’s Commission on Education and Information in orienting press coverage and better managing social media.

PM Phúc also called attention to the development of telecommunications infrastructure, adding that the ministry should support the building of several leading firms so that they will train others in Industry 4.0.

The ministry should concentrate on developing the IT and telecom industries to transform Việt Nam into a manufacturer and developer of IT and telecommunications equipment and software from its current status of importing and outsourcing country.

At the meeting, acting Minister of Information and Communications and deputy head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission on Education and Information Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng reported that with nearly one million km of optical cable reaching villages, communes and districts in 63 cities and provinces nationwide, Việt Nam has become one of the countries with the world’s highest fibre optic cable coverage. The mobile coverage has reached 99.5 per cent of the population while 3G/4G coverage has hit 98 per cent.

In the future, Việt Nam will strive to join the top 10 countries with the most developed telecommunications network.

With more than 28,000 IT firms and 900,000 workers, the IT industry has expanded by over 20 per cent annually over the past decade. Last year, the sector earned US$91.6 billion in revenue, $81.6 billion of which was from hardware, $3.8 billion from software, $5.4 billion from IT services, and $800 million from digital content. Its exports reached $83.4 billion, contributing over VNĐ39.2 trillion ($1.7 billion) to the State budget.

In the next decade, the postal sector is expected to surpass telecommunications in terms of revenue thanks to an annual growth of 35-40 per cent.

Head of the Commission on Education and Information Võ Văn Thưởng asked the ministry to continue refining laws and policies on information and mass media to fix existing shortcomings.

He suggested that domestic social media suppliers need to increase their competitiveness while legal responsibility for information supply should be enhanced so as to address the spread of fake information. — VNS

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