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Ministry to help 30,000-50,000 SMEs with digital transformation

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HANOI – The Ministry of Information and Communications, speaking at a conference on January 12 to review its performance in 2020 and discuss its plans for this year, announced a program to support 30,000-50,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in digital transformation this year.

According to experts, digital transformation will help SMEs develop faster.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Huy Dung said Vietnam currently has some 800,000 enterprises, with more than 98% of them being SMEs. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit more than 90% of SMEs hard.

Many of them have found it hard to find partners, while their traditional markets have been restricted due to social distancing. In addition, they remain dependent on intermediaries and have to still pay operation costs while their revenues have plunged by half on average.

As a result, 24% of SMEs have suspended their operations and the number of newly-established SMEs has declined 15%.

Some 47% of the surveyed SMES recognized the necessity of digital transformation. However, they are vague about the process.

To boost the country’s socioeconomic development and develop digital firms in Vietnam, the Ministry of Information and Communications will this year coordinate with the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Vietnam Association of Small and Medium Enterprises to help local SMEs with digital transformation with digital platforms that are made in Vietnam.

Determining digital platforms as the key of digital transformation, the Ministry of Information and Communications has chosen and announced 12 made-in-Vietnam digital platforms for the program to support SMEs.

These digital platforms will launch many preferential policies, such as exempting fees for those using the platforms for three months, halving fees for those signing contracts to use the platforms for a year and offering free courses to train and share experience in using digital platforms.

Different enterprises will conduct the digital transformation process in different ways, but in general, the process requires the determination of leaders and appropriate methods.

At the conference, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said if the information technology and communications (ITC) sector directly produces goods instead of assembling them, the sector can outpace the country’s gross domestic product by two to four times.

If Vietnam’s ICT sector continues to assemble and outsource for other countries, the sector will remain unchanged. But if domestic digital technology firms are developed, the sector will grow and contribute to the country’s development, Hung added.

The local production of ICT products will also help Vietnam become a high-income country by 2045.

By Van Ly

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