Friday, May 4, 2012

New Internet policy aimed at socio-economic growth | Look At Vietnam

New Internet policy aimed at socio-economic growth

May 5, 2012
Le Nam Thang, deputy minister of Information and Communications, said Vietnam is developing a new Internet policy to replace the old one, keeping in mind the current situation in the country, and exploring the advantages of the Internet, curbing misuse and focused on socio-economic growth.

The deputy minister
stated this at a meeting to discuss ‘Influence of Internet on the
country’s economic growth’ organised by the Vietnam Club of Information
Technology Journalists with participation of leaders of the Ministry of
Information and Communications, Vietnam’s Internet Association and
international IT corporations such as Google, Intel and other domestic
enterprises.

At the meeting, the
US-based McKinsey & Company released its survey report ‘Online and
upcoming: Internet impact on developing countries.’

The Internet contributes to
9 per cent of Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP), which is the same
as Turkey and Morocco, according to a recent global survey.

The
contribution is driven by private consumption of Internet-related
products such as broadband and mobile Internet spending, cited the
survey.
Private consumption
accounts for some 2 per cent of Vietnam’s GDP but is offset by the
country’s large trade deficit in Internet-related goods and services.

The survey also pointed out
that the GDP contribution of the Internet in Vietnam is still lower
than the two per cent average for nine developing countries that the
company studied in detail.

However, Shaowei Ying,
associate principal in McKinsey’s Singapore office, told at the seminar
that the contribution will soon catch up with the average rate and
probably be able to reach 2.5 per cent in the near future.

On the other hand,
McKinsey’s survey found that e-commerce in Vietnam is still an untapped
market with high potential for growth. Shaowei Ying announced that
business effectiveness of small and medium enterprises has increased by
19.3 per cent thanks to utilization of Internet.

It said more than one-third
of Internet users have visited an online shopping or auction site.
Meanwhile, in another survey, 50 per cent of Internet users said they
believed that shopping online provides access to a wider range of
products.

Moreover, Vietnam’s
foundations for e-commerce activity are low in comparison with more
developed countries and regional averages, due to low online payment
enablement, McKinsey said in the survey.

Vietnam has 30 million
Internet users in Vietnam, accounting for 31 per cent of the population.
The blooming growth of telecommunications and Information technology in
the country has brought hopes of a breakthrough for Vietnam’s economy.

Ann Lavin, Head of the
Public Policy and Government Affairs, Southeast Asia at Google Asia
Pacific, said the real strength of internet in developing economy is in
small and medium enterprises. She added that Google will have a
discussion with Vietnam to assist such enterprises to participate in
international markets.

Vuong Quang Khai, director
of VNG, said during the past 10 years, digital content increased by over
50 per cent, a favourite condition to develop the digital content
industry, as more and more subscribers have paid to access or download
digital content.

However, it needs an
appropriate policy to manage it or else it will fall in the control of
foreign countries and affect national security, Khai said.

SGGP
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