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Promoting digital transformation in the spirit of the 13th National Party Congress

(PTOJ) - In the context that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is taking place firmly on a global scale, digital transformation is not only a trend but has become an indispensable and objective requirement for every country, in all aspects. Digital transformation is an important way to realize the will and aspiration for development of the country in the coming decades. This article analyzes and clarifies the basic content and proposes some solutions to promote digital transformation in the spirit of the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress. The article is the resulting of researching the topic QG.21.42: “Research and propose solutions to manage social development in the context of digital transformation to serve the implementation of the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress” by Vietnam National University, Hanoi.

The practice of digital transformation in the world in recent years has been helping countries promote socio-economic development, increase labour productivity, promote innovation, and improve international competitiveness - Photo: internet

 

According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, “Digital transformation is a process of total and comprehensive change in the way of living for individuals and orginizations, work and the production methods based on digital technologies”(1). This process is aimed to “promote the development of the digital economy and digital society; change state management methods, production and business models, consumption, as well as cultural and social life”(2).

The Party and State have been paying particular attention to digital transformation in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. On 27th September 2019, the Politburo issued Resolution No. 52-NQ/TW in regards to several guidelines and policies to actively participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. One of the important guiding views of the Party expressed in the Resolution is: “Actively and positively participating in the Fourth Industrial Revolution is an indispensable and objective requirement; is a task of particularly important strategic significance, both urgent and long-term, of both the political system and the whole society, closely associated with the deep international integration process; at the same time fully and properly aware of the content and nature of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to be determined to renew thinking and action, considering it a breakthrough solution with appropriate steps and roadmap which is an opportunity for Vietnam to make a breakthrough in socio-economic development”(3).

The Resolution also emphasizes “promoting digital transformation in the Party, State, Fatherland Front, socio-political organizations”(4), “Building and developing synchronously national data infrastructure. Forming a system of national data centres, regional and local data centres with synchronous and unified connections. Forming reliable and stable data systems for the State and enterprises. Invest in equipment systems for collecting, storing, processing, and protecting public data”(5).

In the documents of the 13th National Party Congress (Political report, 10-year socio-economic development strategy 2021-2030; Report on assessment of results of the implementation of 5-year socio-economic development tasks 2016-2020 and directions and tasks for socio-economic development in the five years 2021-2025), the phrase “digital transformation” was emphasized by the Party up to 21 times.

The report of the 12th Party Central Committee on documents submitted to the 13th National Party Congress affirmed: “Strongly promoting the national digital transformation, developing the digital economy and digital society to create a breakthrough in improving productivity, quality, efficiency and competitiveness of the economy”(6). In the 10-year socio-economic development strategy 2021-2030, the Party emphasized: “Fast and sustainable development relies mainly on science and technology, innovation and digital transformation”(7). Among three key tasks to realize strategic breakthroughs, national digital transformation is identified in the second task, namely: “Strongly developing science and technology, innovating the creation and digital transformation to create breakthroughs in productivity, quality, efficiency and competitiveness”(8). Orientations, tasks, and solutions for socio-economic development in five years 2021 - 2025 also define: “Improving institutions to promote digital transformation”(9). A review of important Party documents from the 13th National Party Congress shows that national digital transformation is a strategic issue in the country’s development path, a way and a method to realize the aspiration to develop Vietnam by 2045.

The practice of digital transformation in the world in recent years has been helping countries promote socio-economic development, increase labour productivity, promote innovation, and improve international competitiveness. For example, “in 2025, the impact of digital transformation on GDP in the US will be about 25%, and in European countries, it will be about 36%”(10). In the ASEAN region, “if ASEAN countries undergo a strong digital transformation, in 2030 ASEAN’s GDP will have an additional US$1 trillion. For Vietnam, GDP in 2030 will increase by US$100 billion”(11).

From the experience of national digital transformation of countries around the world and the practice of digital transformation in Vietnam, the 13th National Party Congress has determined the content of the national digital transformation in the coming years as: “Digital technology will promote the development of the digital economy and digital society; changing state management methods, production and business models, consumption and cultural and social life”(12). Thus, national digital transformation is carried out in three basic aspects: digital economy, digital society, and digital government.

Regarding the digital economy, the 13th National Party Congress determined: “Promoting research, transfer and strongly apply the achievements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to all areas of social life, focusing on a number of key industries and fields with potential and advantages to acting as a growth engine in the spirit of catching up, advancing with and surpassing in some areas compared to the region and the world”(13). Implementing digital transformation in the economic field, the Party pays special attention to the role of businesses: “Strongly developing science and technology, innovation and digital transformation to create breakthroughs in productivity and quality, efficiency and competitiveness, etc; taking the enterprise as the centre of research, development, application and transfer of technology and application of digital technology”(14).

The 13th National Party Congress gave specific instructions on digital transformation in each economic sector and field. For example, in the industrial sector, the Congress determined: “Restructuring industry, improving technology level, accelerating the transformation to digital technology, focusing on developing fundamental industries, especially mechanical engineering, manufacturing and supporting industries, improving the autonomy of the economy, capable of deeply and effectively participating in global value chains”(15). In the “Directions, tasks and solutions for socio-economic development in five years 2021-2025”, the Party’s policy is: “Prioritizing the development of a number of spearhead industries, new technologies, and high-tech industries, supporting industries such as information and telecommunications technology, electronics, artificial intelligence, robotics manufacturing, automotive industry, biotechnology, biomedical electronics, software manufacturing, digital products, clean energy, renewable energy. Concentrate on strongly developing the processing and manufacturing industry associated with smart technology”(16).

For the agricultural sector, the 13th National Party Congress requested: “Focusing on the development of large-scale commodity production agriculture, applying high technology; promoting the potential and advantages of each area and each locality. Closely linking agriculture with industry and services; production with preservation, processing, consumption, branding, and raising the value of agricultural products in value chains”(17). The 10-year socio-economic development strategy for 2021-2030 also sets out directions, tasks, and solutions for digital transformation in the agricultural sector: “Developing large-scale centralized commodity agriculture in the direction of modernity, etc. To strongly develop high-tech applied agriculture, organic agriculture and ecological agriculture”(18).

Thus, the Party advocates the development of high-tech agriculture. This is an important orientation for agricultural production based on digital transformation. For example, building big data systems on land, crops, livestock, and fisheries; promoting the provision of information on the environment, weather, and land quality for the production process to improve the productivity and quality of crops and livestock, etc.

Regarding digital society, the 13th National Party Congress focused on digital transformation in important fields, especially education and health care. Specifically, “promoting the restructuring of service industries based on modern technology, digital technology, developing new types of services, building a service ecosystem in the fields of healthcare, education - training”(19). In order to adapt education and training to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and international integration, the 13th National Party Congress advocated: “Training people in the direction of ethics, discipline and sense of civic and social responsibility; having life skills, working skills, foreign languages, information technology, digital technology, creative thinking and international integration (global citizens)”(20).

Thus, one of the important requirements for education and training that the 13th National Party Congress emphasized is the information technology and digital technology training. This contributes to the development of the country’s human resources to meet development requirements in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and current deep international integration.

Digital transformation is also a common trend in the medical field. In particular, the Covid-19 pandemic has presented many risks to the health care sector. This requires the digital transformation in health care to be implemented and promoted more strongly in order to improve the efficiency of medical examination and treatment and people’s health care. The 13th National Party Congress prioritized: “Developing human resources, medical science, and technology. Improving the quality of medical examination and treatment, overcoming hospital overload, and developing online medical examination and treatment. Building capacity, being active in disease prevention and control associated with the comprehensive renovation of the health system, especially preventive medicine”(21).

These guiding views show the importance of digital transformation in improving the quality of medical examination, treatment and preventive medicine, contributing to improving the efficiency of patient reception and management, diagnosis, counselling, treatment, and ensuring the confidentiality of patient information, especially on the basis of online medical examination and treatment forms.

Regarding digital government, the 13th National Party Congress determined:

“Promoting the construction of e-government, moving towards the digital government, focusing on developing digital infrastructure to serve state agencies in a centralized and transparent manner; synchronously designing, building and putting into operation an integrated and interconnected system of large databases, especially data on population, health care, education, insurance, businesses, and land housing, timely and effective service for socio-economic development and people’s lives. Implementing a comprehensive national digital transformation to develop the digital economy and build a digital society. Striving by 2030, to complete the construction of a digital government, ranking among the top 50 countries in the world and ranking third in the ASEAN region in terms of e-government and digital economy”(22).

Thus, the 13th National Party Congress clearly defined the basic contents to build e-government, towards digital government. In which, there are two very important points: the first is the development of digital infrastructure; the second is to build and operate an integrated and interconnected system of large databases.

With the development of digital infrastructure and large databases, the operation of the Government and state agencies will be more effective, contributing to the development of the digital economy and digital society. Specifically, “Promoting the processing of work records in the network environment towards “no paper” state agencies. Completing electronic one-stop information systems and public service portals at all levels connected to the National Public Service Portal. Completing the connection and link between state administrative agencies and political - social - professional organizations and businesses. Completing administrative processes and procedures in line with digital government operations, minimizing direct transactions”(23).

In the coming time, in order to promote successful digital transformation in the aspects of digital economy, digital society and digital government in the spirit of the 13th National Party Congress, it is necessary to focus on the following solutions:

Firstly, renewing the thinking and awareness of digital transformation of heads of agencies, organizations and people. The solution of “digital transformation is first and foremost a transformation of perception” is clearly reflected in the guiding view at the 13th National Party Congress: “Renewing development thinking, changing the way of working, living, pushing up strong institutional reform, applying scientific and technological advances and innovation; drastically implementing digital transformation, building a digital economy and a digital society”(24). Decision No.749/QD-TTg of the Prime Minister dated 3rd June 2020 on the “National Digital Transformation Program to 2025, with orientation to 2030”, has specified 6 points of view, of which the first point of view is: “Consciousness plays a decisive role in digital transformation”, emphasizing “Digital transformation is first and foremost a transformation of perception”(25). Thus, in order to participate in the digital transformation process, each officer, person and business needs to be well aware of the role, meaning and importance of digital transformation. The key to accelerating the cognitive transformation lies in the mindset and responsibility of the leaders to set an example for the people.

Secondly, reforming institutions and policies to serve the digital transformation process. In order to get a successful digital transformation process, the 13th National Party Congress emphasized: “Building a legal framework, a favourable environment to promote development, start-up, innovation, digital transformation and development of digital economy; supporting and encouraging the formation and operation of new fields and new business models. Focusing on amending regulations that are contradictory, overlapping and hindering economic development”(26).

In order for digital transformation to take place quickly and meet the requirements of socio-economic development, it is necessary to: “Continue to improve institutions, fully and synchronously develop market factors and types of markets. Consistently implementing the market price mechanism for goods and services, including basic public services. Developing the market for factors of production so that the market plays a decisive role in mobilizing, allocating and using resources. Developing the market for goods and services according to civilized and modern methods of organization and transaction, and e-commerce. Synchronously developing, improving the operational efficiency of financial markets, currency market, stock market, insurance market, etc on the basis of digital technology with infrastructure, technology and modern transaction method”(27).

Therefore, the completion of the legal framework, mechanisms and policies is a big requirement, an important matter, and a breakthrough spearhead for successful digital transformation, through which socio-economic development is fast and sustainable.

Thirdly, developing and completing digital infrastructure. Digital infrastructure development is one of the core requirements of digital transformation. The 13th National Party Congress has advocated: “focusing on developing information and telecommunications infrastructure, creating a foundation for national digital transformation, gradually developing the digital economy and digital society”(28). Specifically, “Building information technology infrastructure; forming a system of national data centres, regional and local data centres connected synchronously and uniformly. Developing digital infrastructure to reach the advanced level of the ASEAN region; broadband internet covers 100% of communes. Building and synchronously developing the national data infrastructure, ensuring the technical infrastructure of information safety and security”(29).

Hence, the development of digital infrastructure should focus on information infrastructure; broadband internet; national, regional and local data centre systems; safety engineering, and information security.

Thus, the 13th National Party Congress has set out important requirements for digital transformation; developing the digital economy, digital society, and digital government to create breakthroughs in productivity, quality, efficiency and competitiveness of the economy; promoting comprehensive socio-economic development of the country. It can be said that digital transformation has been a revolution for the whole people. This revolution is only really successful when each agency, organization, business, and individual actively participates in and enjoys the benefits that digital transformation brings and needs to make the most of every opportunity for digital transformation to become a driving force for the country to develop quickly and sustainably in the coming decades.

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Received: 3rd July 2022; Revised: 4th July 2022; Accepted for Publication: 15th July 2022.

 

Endnotes:

(1) Ministry of Information and Communications: Digital Transformation Manual (Revised, Updated and Supplemented in 2021), Information and Communication Publishing House, Hanoi, 2021, p.21.

(2), (6), (7), (8), (12), (13), (14), (15), (17), (18), (19), (20), (21), (22), (24), (26), (27), (28) CPV: Document of the 13th National Party Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, vol.I, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2021, pp. 208, 46, 214, 221, 208, 115, 221, 123, 124, 241, 247, 232-233, 151, 225, 213, 132, 132-133, 54.

(3), (4), (5) Party Central Committee: Resolution No. 52-NQ/TW dated 27th September 2019 of the  Politburo on several guidelines and policies to actively participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Electronic Newspaper of Vietnam Communist Party, accessed on 22nd June 2022.

(9), (16), (23), (29) CPV: Documents of the 13th National Party Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, vol.II, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2021, p.99, 105-106, 148-149, 123.

(10), (11) Hien Minh: Share and connect to overcome challenges of digital transformation, https://baochinhphu.vn/phai-chia-se-va-ket-noi-de-vuot-thach -thuc-cua-chuyen-doi-so-102284361.htm, accessed on 2nd July 2022

(25) Prime Minister: “Decision on approving the “National Digital Transformation Program to 2025, with orientation to 2030”, Government web portal, accessed on 9th April 2020.

Prof., Dr. NGUYEN TUAN ANH

University of Social Sciences and Humanities,

Vietnam National University, Hanoi

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