The Vietnam Internet Association (VIA) organised Internet Day 2017 on the 20th anniversary of the Internet in Vietnam in Hanoi on November 22(Photo: ictnews.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) - Over 20 years of development, the Internet in Vietnam has made impressive advances, permeating into every part of daily life and changing people’s habits, noted Truong Minh Tuan, Minister of Information and Communications at an event marking Internet Day 2017.

The Vietnam Internet Association (VIA) organised Internet Day 2017 on the 20th anniversary of the Internet in Vietnam in Hanoi on November 22.

The event was a special occasion to look back on the growth of the Internet in Vietnam, while offering suggestions to further promote its development to bring prosperity to the nation in the future.

Speaking at the event, the minister noted that 20 years ago, November 19, 1997 marked an important milestone in the history of the Vietnamese information and communication industry, when Vietnam officially connected to the Internet.

According to the minister, to ensure the continued development of the Internet in Vietnam, the part played by telecommunication and information technology infrastructure must be acknowledged.

“From the 1990s, Vietnam is known for its early deployment of 2G networks and continued spread of 3G and 4G, with modern telecommunication and Internet infrastructure, covering the nation from cities to rural areas, mountainous provinces to the islands,” he said.

According to statistics from the beginning of this year, Vietnam has more than 50 million Internet users, accounting for 54 percent of the population, higher than the global average at 46.64 percent.

Vietnam is also listed among countries with the highest number of Internet users in Asia.

Compared to more than 31 million users in 2012; 17 million in the past 10 years and 205,000 people in the early days of the Internet in Vietnam, it can be said that the country has made impressive strides, the minister said.

The Ministry of Information and Communications is also trying to promote the development of information technology, the digital content industry and the application of added value on the Internet, along with the development of fields such as advertising, games, e-commerce and e-payment.

“Along with the achievements of Internet infrastructure businesses such as Viettel, VNPT, FPT or CMC, many big digital content companies such as VTC, VNG and VCCorp have firm positions domestically and are reaching out to the world,” said the minister.

Many applications developed by domestic businesses and individuals have resonated internationally, such as Flappy Bird and Monkey Junior.

In governmental agencies, hundreds of online public services have been deployed at level 3 and level 4, Tuan noted.

Many ministries, agencies and localities have even opened official accounts on social networks to interact with citizens quickly and effectively, which has received a positive response.

“This is a foundation for Internet applications at higher and more complicated levels, such as e-government, smart cities, smart traffic and smart education,” he said.

The minister also noted that as Vietnam steps into the 4th industrial revolution, all industries and fields must go digital.

To be able to do this, Vietnam needs to focus on promoting the development of information technology, telecommunications and Internet infrastructure, digital content and the application of added value in the country sustainably.

"In the future, we need to implement policies and solutions to support and encourage Vietnamese enterprises to confidently embrace Industry 4.0," Tuan said.

However, the Internet also presents a number of challenges.

Currently, the amount of malicious information appearing on the Internet and social networking is increasing, especially fake and distorted information, which insults personal and organisational dignity.

In addition, issues such as cyber attacks, unsafe information, spam, malware and blackmail aimed at businesses, agencies and organisations in Vietnam, are increasing in number, scale and complexity.

Therefore, the Ministry of Information and Communications and related ministries and agencies have been implementing measures to prevent and handle the violations.

At the ceremony, the VIA also announced the 10 most influential people who have played a significant role in the development of the Internet over the past 20 years.

They include Mai Liem Truc – former deputy minister of Post and Telematics; Truong Gia Binh – chairman of technology company FPT; Nguyen Trung Chinh – chairman of CMC Corporation; Nguyen Manh Hung – general director of the military-run telecom group Viettel; Tran Manh Hung – chairman of Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group (VNPT); Vu Hoang Lien – chairman of VIA; Le Hong Minh – chairman of VNG Corporation; Nguyen Tu Quang – Chairman of BKAV Technology Group; Le Nam Thang – former deputy minister of Information and Communications and Thang Duc Thang - Editor-in-chief of VnExpress.

Five enterprises which have had a significant effect on the Internet in Vietnam were named as VNPT; Viettel; FPT Telecom Joint Stock Company; MobiFone Telecommunications Corporation and CMC Corporation.-VNA