Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked ministries, sectors and localities, as well as businesses and researchers nationwide to raise their awareness of the role information and technology has in development and improving the national competitive capacity.

“IT application and development is an important task of the whole political system, especially leaders of sectors and agencies,” the Prime Minister was speaking at the opening ceremony of the third Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Summit in Hanoi on June 20.

He said the development and application of IT in production, business and management to improve Vietnam’s competitiveness is the shortest way to help the country catch up with developed nations.

Since 2000, the Government has implemented a number of policies and measures to strengthen the application and development of IT to serve the country’s industrialisation and modernisation, identifying IT as a catalyst for development, which contributes to the country’s socio-economy and culture, said the PM.

Over the past decade, IT has become a spearhead economic sector of the country with high growth rate, accounting for nearly 7 percent of the country’s total GDP, while serving the development of other sectors, he noted.

PM Dung said IT infrastructure and services have been developing to match those of the region and the world. In terms of establishing electronic government, Vietnam now ranks fourth in Southeast Asia after Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, he cited, adding that in 2012, the country leaped seven steps to 83rd position out of 190 countries that were surveyed by UNESCO.

He added that Vietnam is listed as one of the 10 most attractive countries in software outsourcing and the second largest partner of Japan, while Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have been named among 10 newly emerged cities in the field.

The Government leader emphasised that Vietnam has advantages in IT, with young and highly-qualified human resources. To promote this strength, the Government has carried out a proposal to make Vietnam a strong country in ICT, followed by a plan to build an infrastructure system for modern development, said the PM.

Earlier this year, the Government approved a proposal to simplify administrative procedures and improve citizen profiles to reform state management and pave the way for easier transactions in all fields, he added.

PM Dung highly valued the participation of the former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in this year’s summit, which can help further the effective cooperation between the two countries in the field.

Vietnam hopes to receive more support and cooperation from Japan – a leading world power in science and technology, and learn from the country’s experience in the field, the Prime Minister affirmed.

Addressing the event, Yukio Hatoyama shared science and technology supported policies in his country. He said technology has helped Japan become a leading economic power. He also analysed the impacts of science and technology on Japan ’s economy and society.

He suggested that Vietnam should pay more attention to human resources training in the field through cooperation with foreign partners, adding that Japan ’s experience can help Vietnam in IT infrastructure building and personnel training.

Attracting the participation of over 500 delegates, the 2013 ICT Summit was themed “Information technology – Foundation for New Development Method for the Improvement of National Competitiveness”.

The event is a forum for senior leaders of relevant sectors, central and local policymakers, and agencies and businesses that require IT application.

According to PM Dung, through the past two events, the summit has contributed valuable proposals in the design of the Government’s policies in the field./.