03.11.2020, 13:13

Vietnam leads Asia-Pacific region in digital transformation

Vietnam leads Asia-Pacific region in digital transformation
A patron taking photographs with a smartphone from the terrace of a cafe in Hanoi on Sept 10, 2020.

According to an industry study conducted of 11 markets throughout the Asia-Pacific region by mobile operator industry player GSMA Intelligence, Vietnam enjoyed the highest increase in scores between 2016 and 2019 with regards to the digital society index.

The country’s latest rating was 49 points for 2019, representing an increase of 12 points from three years previously, which GSMA Intelligence attributes to, “notable improvements in the connectivity component of the index, following the launch and rapid expansion of 4G networks.”

“It was also driven by improvements to the digital identity, digital citizenship, and digital lifestyle components,” added the report.

GSMA Intelligence note that Vietnam is currently in the process of pursuing a national Industry 4.0 strategy that includes infrastructure and human resources, in addition to e-government and innovation.

The report also points out that there remains challenges to be addressed in order to make further progress, particularly in terms of the digital commerce component and with regard to policies aimed at supporting innovative startups.

5G mobile technology is expected to make up 5% of wireless domestically by 2025, well below the average of 23% for the Asia-Pacific region, the report notes.

The study outlines how the country ranked just eighth overall among the 11 markets surveyed. The rankings were topped by four “advanced” economies, most notably with the Republic of Korea (RoK) leading the way with 78 points, followed by Singapore, Australia, and Japan.

The report states that the gap in terms of the digital societies landscape in the region has narrowed moderately in recent years, with Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia being classified as “transition” countries, while Pakistan and Bangladesh were judged to be “emerging”.

This therefore highlights that the gap remains significant, ultimately underscoring the need for emerging countries to strive for a faster rate of progress.

GSMA Intelligence conducted the study based on input from Government and industry organisations in the markets of Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, the RoK, Thailand, and Vietnam.