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Covid-19 underlines importance of digitalization: EU Ambassador

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HCMC – The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the growing importance of digitalization, Giorgio Aliberti, EU Ambassador to Vietnam, observed while addressing the opening session of a roundtable entitled “Digital Economy, Digital Transformation in Vietnam and the EVFTA” in Hanoi on November 5.

The EU Ambassador added that Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and an attractive market for European Businesses.

“Nowadays, we can transport things, ship goods, buy online and complete procedures quickly thanks to the advancement of digital technology. With these changes, the processes will become less complicated and less time-consuming. EVFTA is a potential platform for sharing common values, not only economic benefits but also a solution for both sides to win,” he said.

Jacques Morisset, lead economist of the World Bank in Vietnam, pointed out three megatrends that will have huge impacts on the economy: (de)globalization, contact-free and value of life. Vietnam is moving toward a contact-free economy and this trend has been accelerated by the pandemic. However, beyond tools, changes in mindset are required if Vietnam wants to create the foundation for future growth in a digitalized world.

A representative of the Authority of Information Technology Application under the Ministry of Information and Communications also discussed strategies and policies to maximize the benefits of international trade agreements such as the EVFTA to promote the digital economy in Vietnam.

In addition, a representative of the State Agency for Technological Innovation under the Ministry of Science and Technology talked about strengthening the science and technology cooperation between Vietnam and the EU so it can contribute even more to the digital economy and digital transformation in Vietnam as well as improve the EU-Vietnam partnership.

The seminar was organized by the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam in coordination with VINASA and Eurocham.

The event attracted over 100 participants from ministries, government agencies, EU member states, associations, academic institutions and businesses in Vietnam. It covered topics such as the current status, opportunities, challenges of Vietnam’s digital economy and digital transformation as well as the EVFTA with its possible contribution to spurring the digital economy and digital transformation in Vietnam.

In recent years, Vietnam’s digital economy has been booming and is the second-fastest-growing market in Southeast Asia. The local digital economy is expected to benefit from the EVFTA, which has recently become effective, and from the impact of Covid-19. In such a context, the roundtable was organized to discuss how Vietnam can benefit the most from digital transformation in the coming years and decades.

This is the second of three roundtable events to be organized by the Delegation under the framework of the EU-Vietnam Partnership Facility until the end of 2020. The upcoming third roundtable will focus on the business environment for European and Vietnamese Start-ups and SMEs in Vietnam and is scheduled for early December 2020.

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