Vietnam looks to boost ICT, focusing on domestic firms hinh anh 1Workers of military-run technology group Viettel are installing 5G station. (Photo: 

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam is seeking to develop its information and communications technology industry (ICT) with a focus on domestic firms to make it a key economic sector in the next decade, according to experts.

The Ministry of Information and Communications is developing an ICT industry development programme, which is expected to be submitted to the Government for issuance within the first quarter of 2020.

Speaking at a conference on December 19 to discuss the ICT development programme, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Phan Tam said the ICT industry is seeing a slowdown in revenue.

The industry’s revenue increased by just 9.8 percent in 2019 over the previous year. This was low compared to the average annual growth rate of 31.1 percent in 2014-2019 period.

In addition, the ICT industry is still largely dependent on foreign-invested companies, Tam said, citing the fact that foreign-invested companies account for more than 90 percent of the industry’s export revenue.

Domestic ICT firms are mainly involved in only low value stages of production, such as hardware assembly and software outsourcing.

“We have not had had many unique made-in-Vietnam ICT products,” Tam said.

Tam said the programme would focus on measures to encourage Vietnamese firms to engage deeper in the global ICT industry’s value chain and increase added value.

It would be important to leverage the development of domestic ICT companies, and at the same time, attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into the sector, he said, adding that the programme also aims to build links between domestic and FDI companies as well as with the global market.

According to Deputy Director of the ministry’s Information and Technology Department Nguyen Thanh Tuyen, the programme targets improving the value, quality, competitiveness and creativity of the ICT industry.

Priority would be given to the development of products and services based on the core technologies of Industry 4.0 such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, automation, data analysis and 5G.

Domestic firms would be in the spotlight, he stressed. The programme targets that domestic ICT firms would grow at a rate two times higher than the country’s gross domestic product growth rate.

By 2025, Vietnam is hoped to have the ability to master technologies in producing major ICT products to serve socio-economic development and national security.

The ICT industry is expected to become a key economic sector in the next five years.

Vietnam’s ICT industry has seen significant development in the past five years and grew at an average pace of 31.1 percent per year in 2014-2019 to reach revenue of 110 billion USD this year.

The industry provided jobs for more than 1 million people and ICT firms contributed 53 trillion VND (2.28 billion USD) to the State budget in 2019./.