Vietnam boasts vast potential to transform into a fully-digitalised economy and society like Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK), said Director of the Singapore-based Technology Research Project Corporate (TRPC) John Ure.

The TRPC and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) held a forum in Hanoi on June 9 during which a report on Vietnam ’s digital economy potential was released.

The VCCI report reveals that about 40 percent of the global population surfs the Internet every day.

With over 30 percent of its population using the Internet, Vietnam has been continually among the top 20 countries with the biggest proportion of net surfers. The rate is expected to reach 45-50 percent by 2020, the report says.

Nguyen Quang Vinh from the VCCI’s standing board said each job in technology will generate five to seven related jobs, and every 20 percent increase in the investment in information technology (IT) and telecommunications will raise the gross domestic product by 1 percent.

However, Vietnam ranks only 45 th of the 50 surveyed countries in terms of digital economic transformation as its IT connection and application indexes are relatively low, he added.

The TRPC said a digital economy is a knowledge economy where its people are equipped with necessary skills to design and produce digital goods and services for the community, and e-learning is a direct path to the digital transformation.

E-learning has just developed in Vietnam over the past few years. The country has had around 3-5 million e-learners since 2013 who have made the field worth 50 million USD, surging by over 40 percent annually.

Meanwhile, the global e-learning market is estimated at 30 billion USD and has already matured in Japan and the RoK, the TRPC noted.

John Ure said to reach the level of these nations, Vietnam must develop Internet access infrastructure, skilled personnel and favourable mechanisms for digital development.

It should also consult sectors greatly affected by Internet use like healthcare and education in the design of a comprehensive policy on digitalisation, he added.-VNA