Deputy PM Dam urges removal of obstacles to boost IT development

Friday, 2017-11-24 10:41:39
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Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam speaks during the conference to review ten year implementation of the 2006 Law on IT, Hanoi, November 23. (Credit: NDO)
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NDO – After ten years of implementation of the 2006 Law on Information Technology (IT), there is an urgent need to remove obstacles and integrate new trends to promote IT application, IT infrastructure development and increase the number and quality of IT human resources, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has said.

The government official made the suggestion at a national teleconference hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) on Thursday, reviewing a ten year implementation of the above bill.

The IT Law was passed by the 11th National Assembly (NA) on June 29, 2006 and took effective from January 1, 2007. It is an official document of the highest legal value, regulating comprehensively and fully the application and development of IT, as well as the rights and obligations of participating agencies, organisations and individuals in IT application and development. It also establishes a legal framework for the formation and development of an information society, shortening the process of national industrialisation and modernisation.

After more than ten years, in the context of the ongoing 4th Industrial Revolution, it is important to identify shortcomings in the implementation of the law to propose to the Government and the NA adjustments, amendments and supplements to build up a legal environment suitable to the requirements in the new situation. This requirement was coincided with the spirit of the conference yesterday.

Deputy PM Dam, who is also Chairman of the National Committee for IT Application, said that the world has given a high regard for Vietnam's IT development. In the past ten years, the four pillars of Vietnam’s IT sector, including infrastructure, human resources, application and IT industry have developed on a higher than average level when compared to other sectors. However, among the four pillars, except for the IT industry with the participation of big tech groups such as Intel or Samsung is achieving more breakthrough development, the rest in general still have to strive much to grow stronger.

Dam assessed that the IT Law of 2006 has facilitated the development of IT across the country, but so far, the bill implementation has encountered a number of obstacles that need adequate solutions to solve, especially in hiring IT services.

The deputy PM affirmed that the Government always encourages relevant ministries, branches and localities to hire IT services, not renting machines or hiring software, but instead hiring the final services to update and boost their operation. However, at present, the hiring of IT services still encounter issues on laws, procedures and renting costs, therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to information security when starting to hire IT services, he added.

IT sector has great potential for developing with human resources soon to reach the 1 million mark.

Regarding the construction of a national database, Deputy PM Dam pointed out that do not take the building of a database as the main objective but the database construction is to serve management purposes and connected data would be a valuable resource. The Government is instructing the Ministry of Science and Technology to develop a data linkage plan for all ministries, sectors and localities, he revealed.

To boost IT human resources, Dam said that specific guidelines related to intensive renovation of IT training would soon be issued, allowing IT engineers who are working in standardised business to become teachers involved in the training of university students in IT. Businesses and IT associations must be responsible for this activity, he stressed.

Minister of Information and Communication Truong Minh Tuan stated that his ministry would focus on improving the legal framework on ICT, in the immediate future, focusing on two areas of IT application and developing IT industry and IT services.

The consultative units under the MIC were urged to collect comments, especially the opinions of speakers, delegates and experts at the conference, to complete a report on ten year implementation of the Law on IT to submit to the Government and the NA for amending and supplementing the law in 2018.

According to Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Hung, in the past ten years, the system of management and promotion of IT application and development at all levels nationwide has been gradually built and strengthened. All ministries and localities have an electronic portal to provide information and online public services for people and businesses, contributing to reducing the time and cost of implementing administrative procedures.

According to the United Nations E-Government Development Index 2016, Vietnam ranked 89/193 countries, up ten places from 2014. IT industry, especially the hardware and software industry and digital content, maintains a high growth rate, averaging nearly 30% per year, making an important contribution to Vietnam’s GDP. A number of concentrated IT industrial parks have been formed. The total value of the IT industry is estimated at US$67.7 billion.

The percentage of Vietnamese people who have Internet access has reached 52%, thus surpassing the world average. IT is popular in most high schools and nearly 80% of universities and colleges nationwide. Employees working in the IT industry are aiming to reach the 1 million mark.