Hanoi (VNA) – The digital platform economy has been contributing to creating a favourable business environment, especially platforms for the provision of IT services. 

“Vietnam’s information technology level is very good compared to other countries in the region. It’s time for Vietnam to build a digital platform economy and it should not miss this opportunity”, said Tran Thanh Hai, former CEO of Be Group.

Hai, who is also co-founder of VNG Corporation, has made the remarks at a seminar on the application of a digital platform economy to enhance competitiveness in Vietnam co-organised by the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR) and UPGen Vietnam in Hanoi.

Big names like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Alibaba have become global digital economic platforms, Hai said.

Besides, they also create smaller platforms to serve small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a common ecosystem, he noted.

According to VEPR Director Nguyen Duc Thanh, the digital platform economy is a part of the national economy. Such digital platforms are contributing to creating a favourable business environment, especially those in providing IT services such as map apps and website designing platforms.

However, Thanh said, to increase the competitiveness in Vietnam, firstly, domestic digital platforms must become more competitive.

This is also the strategy many countries are using to create a platform ecosystem, where cooperation and co-creation are connected, he added.

Further, governments can also become a digital platform to create a more favourable and preeminent institution, Thanh stressed.

According to the “Global Competitiveness Index 4.0” ranking of the World Economic Forum, decisive pillars for the competitiveness include innovative ecosystem, market, human resources, and favourable business environment creation.

Hai emphasised the importance of the role of the State management in orienting policies.

He suggested the Government create a level playing field to help domestic enterprises promote their strengths and have right investment.

According to Hai, the country's technology start-up environment is facing many shortcomings, from the legal framework to service sectors, because technology always develops faster than the legal framework.

Vietnam has many policies to promote digital platforms to support businesses, however, these policies have handed the advantage to foreign businesses, creating unfair competition, he noted.

Meanwhile, Do Hoai Nam, Chairman UPGen Vietnam, expressed his belief that boosted by 100 million people, Vietnam can completely build billion-dollar companies to serve the domestic market.

The digital platform economy not only plays an important role in the domestic economy but also join other economies across the world, he stressed.

A study by the Institute for Global Leadership under the US-based Tufts University in 2018 showed that Vietnam ranked 48th out of 60 countries globally in terms of switching to a digital economy. 

Along with e-commerce, the digital economy is both a challenge and opportunity for Vietnam to resolve major issues in economic development, including the issuance and revision of policies to make Vietnam more competitive globally.

According to a report from the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Vietnam e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency, Vietnam’s digital economy has been developing in terms of infrastructure and markets in the last decade.

In 2018, the country’s e-commerce growth reached 30 percent, marking total retail revenue of 8 billion USD. This figure is expected to reach 13-15 billion USD by 2020.

The digital economy is expected to bring many opportunities to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, including in foreign countries. However, with the rapid development speed of the digital economy and the opening of cyberspace, Vietnam is facing difficulties because of limited awareness and low internet skills.

According to the report, the legal system and enforcement agencies are still weak. At the same time, popular forms of transactions including cash payment and cash-on-delivery payment are still major obstacles to increasing costs for society, businesses and consumers./.