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The application of information and communication technology (ICT) in Viet Nam is faced with difficulties although considered vital for the country's development.
This was revealed at the annual Viet Nam ICT Summit 2012 held in Ha Noi yesterday.
Delegates heard that the application of ICT could help provide answers to traffic congestion, accidents, and the overloaded education and healthcare systems.
Speaking at the two-day event, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan said experiences in advanced countries showed that ICT had been an important platform for the modernisation of the economy and society.
"Applying ICT to production, service and management could significantly increase productivity and labour efficiency," Nhan said.
He said that in the past few years, ICT had become the country's key economic sector. Last year, it had a turnover of US$20.7 billion, contributing 17 per cent of the national GDP. Viet Nam also ranked fourth among the countries applying e-government in Southeast Asia.
Nhan added that in the year 2000, the importance of ICT was recognised by the Party Central Committee's Politburo, which issued Directive No 58 on promoting the application and development of ICT for national industrialisation and modernisation.
However, the deputy PM said application was still low as leaders at localities had not paid due attention to increasing technology or ICT in particular.
The former Minister of Trade, Truong Dinh Tuyen, said the digitalisation, connection and integration ability of ICT had helped change production and management models to high-tech.
"ICT has promoted globalisation," Tuyen said. However, he added that State agencies and businesses had not fully tapped into the ICT potential and application in education, healthcare, transport and culture had been limited.
Nguyen Nhat Quang, director of the Viet Nam Software and IT Service Association's (VINASA) Institute for Science and Technology, said ICT application, such as Intelligent transport system and smart card, could help ease traffic jams.
Quang said ICT could help the education and training sector renew its training methods, creating an equality of learning opportunity between urban and rural areas, the rich and the poor. He also said it would save costs and reduce exam fraud.
VINASA chairman Truong Gia Binh said building a smart infrastructure would help accelerate modernisation and industrialisation.
He estimated only 5 per cent of leaders in sectors and localities considered ICT should be involved in all infrastructure.
The event has attracted around 500 participants from several sectors both inside and outside the country to discuss and collect recommendations to submit to the Government.
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