Vietnam lays out plans for Fourth Industrial Revolution

By Xuan Hoa   May 7, 2017 | 11:38 am GMT+7

The revolution is expected to change the way the world's economies work, and Vietnam plans to be ready for it.

With the world standing on the brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Vietnam is preparing for an incoming wave of new technologies believed to be fundamentally changing global production.

To this end, Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued a directive earlier this week to strengthen the country's ability to access the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Phuc has directed the country to focus on developing infrastructure for information technology while encouraging enterprises to invest in technological innovations from now until 2020 to seize opportunities and minimize negative impacts of the revolution. 

In technology and communications, Vietnam is expected to have a complete, stable 4G network by 2018. Research and development of 5G technology will also be set into motion to meet the requirements for an internet of things as soon as possible. Therefore, human resources for information technology, especially information security and safety, will be prioritized.

In scientific research and education, Vietnam will focus on mathematics, physics, information technology and basic science. Research into advanced, innovative technologies to boost the quality of productions, intellectual property and the biological industry will all receive high priority.

The Ministry of Labor will revise training and education for workers to focus on mastering and making use of these technological advances of the revolution, and to combat any negative effects the Fourth Industrial Revolution may have on the labor market.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance will encourage enterprises to invest in research into advanced, innovative technologies with adjusted tax and finance policies. Conventions and academic support will also be available from Vietnam's Academy of Science and Technology.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, building on the fusion of digital, physical and biological technologies, internet of things and artificial intelligence, is taking place all over the word and having a strong impact on all aspects of socio-economic life. It is leading to a change in production methods and workforces, according to the directive.

Vietnam's economy, currently the 32nd largest in the world measured by purchasing power parity (PPP), is one of the world's fastest growing economies. However, it has been dealing with a slowdown in its industrial sector and a pork surplus crisis so far this year, along with lower rice output and a widening trade deficit.

Vietnam's economy is dependent on exports, so the current situation means it now needs to diversify what it can offer and to create opportunities from more economic sectors.