Speakers at the workshop on transforming Vietnam’s digital economy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in Ho Chi Minh City on September 20. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – A workshop on transforming Vietnam’s digital economy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) took place in Ho Chi Minh City on September 20, discussing ways to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in applying advanced technologies.

The event was held by the Association of Vietnamese Scientists and Experts (AVSE Global) in partnership with the Ho Chi Minh City Institute for Development Studies and Quang Trung Software City (QTSC).

In today’s world, SMEs are said to be the engine of growth and innovation as they account for 97 percent of businesses and employ more than 50 percent of workers in Asia-Pacific, said QTSC Director Lam Nguyen Hai Long.

In Vietnam, SMEs contribute some 40 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employ 51 percent of the workforce, he noted. However, the contribution is still relatively small due to their limited use of technologies as most SMEs in Vietnam pay very little attention to Industry 4.0 or find it irrelevant.

If SMEs paid more attention to Industry 4.0, they will move quickly, creating a new generation of enterprises that will lead the economy and help Vietnam take off, said AVSE Global CEO Vu Ngoc Anh.

The AVSE Global and QTSC also took the occasion to announce that the Vietnam Digital Economy Forum (VDEF) will be organised for the first time in Vietnam to provide a platform for leading IT experts, policymakers, and enterprises interested in the topic all over the world.

It aims to share strategic visions and experiences of the sector’s pioneers as well as the trends of indispensable movements in the digital economy. It will also evaluate the current situation, challenges, and opportunities in the digital economy.

The VDEF 2018 is scheduled to convene in November and expected to attract 500 delegates, including top international speakers alongside government and business representatives.

The event will discuss the four main topics of Vietnam’s Fourth Industrial Revolution path, the impact of digital technology on SME business strategies, applying digital technology to improve the competitiveness of SMEs, and digitalised services supporting SMEs.–VNA