Information technology (IT) and communications were defined as Vietnam ’s leading tools to implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), form an information society and shorten the industrialisation and modernisation process.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made this statement while receving General Secretary of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Hamadoun Toure, in Hanoi on July 19.

He said information technology was also an area of priority in a 10-year development strategy which aimed to turn Vietnam into a strong IT nation, he said, suggesting the ITU support Vietnam in arranging an orbit for the Vinasat-2 satellite and the programme to make Vietnam a strong IT nation, especially in broadband and network security, and encourage Vietnamese experts to work at the ITU.

He spoke highly of the role of the ITU in boosting global IT development and thanked the organisation and its General Secretary for support for Vietnam in IT development.

The ITU General Secretary expressed his impressions of Vietnam ’s strong IT development, especially in internet broadband and mobile phone services.

He affirmed support for Vietnam to become a strong IT nation and for the launch of the Vinasat-2 satellite in 2012, acknowledging the launch’s importance for economic development when Vinasat-1 satellite utilisation reached 90 percent.

Vietnam , with its young and abundant human resources, was ideally placed to become a strong IT country, Hamadoun Toure said.

He said he wished to see closer cooperation with Vietnam to make the best use of opportunities to boost IT development.

He also expressed a wish that Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will attend a global IT forum and exhibition to be hosted by the ITU in Geneva , Switzerland from October 24-27. The event was expected to attract 50 heads of state and 60,000 participants.

At a meeting with reporters on the same day, ITU General Secretary Hamadoun Toure highly valued Vietnam ’s IT and telecommunication achievements, saying that Vietnam was one of the ITU’s spotlight countries.

Vietnam had seen a rapid development in telecommunications with the provision of good telecom services to its people, he said, adding that the country now ranked eighth in the world in mobile phone density./.