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Thursday, October 6, 2022

IT workforce shortage slows down digitalization in Mekong Delta

By Trung Chanh

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HCMC – Despite its high population, the lack of information technology workers has hindered the Mekong Delta region’s digital economic development.

Speaking at a conference on facilitating digital skills and digital economy in the Mekong Delta held yesterday in Can Tho Province, Nguyen Khanh Cam Chau, USAID/Vietnam Digital Advisor and Governance Section Lead, said the delta is holding potential for growth as its rice and seafood exports account for 90% and 70% of the nation’s total, respectively.

The delta holds nearly a fifth of the country’s population and makes up 15.4% of the nation’s gross domestic product. Of the 430,000 information technology workers across the country, only 5% work in the region, which does not match its population, Chau said.

This has led to low productivity, thereby hindering the region’s digital economic development.

Over the past few years, Vietnam has experienced rapid digital transformation, but the process is still slow in the delta due to workers’ poor computer skills, she said.

According to Nguyen Khanh Tung, head of the Can Tho City Institute for Socio-Economic Development Studies, when businesses opt for digitalization, they apply tools, technologies, solutions and digital platforms to their business process and models. Once that is done, employees have to adapt to a digital working environment, thereby improving their computer literacy. 

However, digital transformation in the region is still slow.

In the delta region, companies that use information technology for sales and financial management and have websites are just 46% and 42%, said Nguyen Thi Dieu Hien, deputy director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam.

“This shows the digital transformation process in the Mekong Delta is just in the early stages,” Hien said.

To speed up the process, Chau said localities should boost cooperation with information technology companies and attract more information technology workers.

On the other hand, companies need to work with universities and colleges to increase the tech workforce, Tung said.

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