Last updated: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Vietnam ICT Summit 2012: National Core InfrastructurePosted: Friday, June 29, 2012
Future IT applications will solve a series of burning social problems like transport, education, smart urban development, e-citizen card, and creation of a new economic era - the era of knowledge economy, said Mr Nguyen Minh Hong, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, in an interview with Vietnam Business Forum on the sidelines of the Vietnam ICT Summit 2012 held recently in Hanoi. Anh Phuong reports.
Deputy Minister Nguyen Minh Hong said “IT has accelerated the globalisation process in all aspects of social life, created a ‘flat world’. Information technology infrastructure is economic infrastructure and social infrastructure, or in other words, infrastructure of infrastructure. Therefore Vietnam ICT Summit 2012 Forum underscored new thinking and perception that regards IT as a national infrastructure and discussed solutions to modernise infrastructure system and use IT to modernise the country. Specifically, this forum delved into four primary contents: Use IT to reduce traffic congestion and accidents; IT to education and training; smart urban development in Vietnam; and e-citizen cards.”
In the current context of economic difficulty, do you think IT is one of solutions to shift growth model?
With huge ICT applications in many social and economic aspects, I think it is possible to consider ICT a breakthrough solution to shift growth model. That is the transformation from growth driven by two traditional factors - investment capital and low-level labour - to growth based on four factors (capital, labour scale, labour quality, and application of science and technology). But, to achieve this, Vietnam needs to make IT knowledge a standard criterion for government officials, identify certain percentage of government staffs with IT knowledge for specific economic and social fields, and set up ICT application units for specific ministries and agencies.
Another reason for the shallow ICT application in Vietnam is State administrative organs and businesses have not fully tapped strengths and capabilities of IT to solve administration and development issues. Therefore, in the past time, Vietnam has only focused on quantity growth rather than built criteria of quality growth, labour productivity and business performance. This is one of the reasons why IT industry has not been seen as an instrument to accelerate overall economic development.
As far as I am concerned, Vietnam ICT Summit 2012 Forum will include conferences on IT application results in hot economic and social issues. How do you assess this?
Vietnam ICT Summit 2012 Forum with the theme of "ICT - National core infrastructure” will focus on resolving hot social and economic issues with IT: Use IT to reduce traffic congestion and accidents; IT with smart healthcare, administrative procedure reform, education and training, etc. As for inherent problem of transport sector - traffic congestion and accidents, the traditional solution is to expand the holding capacity of infrastructure by building more roads and bridges and increasing public transportation. However, building more roads and bridges in two primary cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh is hardly feasible but building metro, personal rapid transit (PRT) and smart bus is a good option. Thus, building ICT infrastructure to manage transport infrastructure is a wise direction in the current time. Big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have started building some arrays of smart infrastructure, including automated toll system. We can learn from this experience from the City of Stockholm (Sweden). It drew a centre circle and identified 18 points of the entry and exit where video camera and laser rays are installed. Whenever a vehicle comes in or goes out the laser ray-crossing area, video cameras will be activated and take pictures of front and rear number plates. A software programme will filter the registration number on the site and transmit it to data centres.
As ICT application to intelligent health services, this system will create online tools to help doctors to digitise data, manage patient record information, prescribe medicines and provide medical treatment online, connect information with colleagues, patients, pharmacies easily and effectively.
An effective ICT application is e-government construction. Citizens will never have to queue to wait for their turns at the gate of administrative offices to register business certificates, land ownership certificates, passport application and other stuffs. Instead, they can do with these from an internet-enabled computer. It is very quick, simple and effective.