With Vietnam’s thriving economy, the country finds itself ready to take on digitalization to aid in smart rural development. Despite its transition from a low-income to a middle-income country and showcasing a shift in the global market arena, rural poverty remains a significant issue. Around 70% of the population resides in rural areas, with more than 14% belonging to ethnic minorities, facing economic vulnerabilities and unforeseen shocks. Here is how the country is creating a digital economy in Vietnam.
Most of the rural communities are located in mountainous to highland and central coastal regions where people mainly generate income through agriculture production. Because of their geographic location, some resources such as water and health care, can be difficult to find. While Vietnam has made progress in gender equality, ethnic minority women still face disadvantages due to a lack of education and literacy.
The initiation of “The New Rural Development and Sustainable Poverty (NTPSP) Program-for-Results Project” in Vietnam aims to enhance economic opportunities and accelerate digital modernization in rural areas. The main idea for this digital transformation is to offer “service equality” to both rural and urban areas while bettering the livelihoods of rural communities. The program will officially carry out by 2025 in all rural communities.
The program aims to develop the rural economy by creating a digital economy in Vietnam. In other words, it will aim to create more attraction and concentration by applying technological advancements in all agricultural productions and rural infrastructure. For instance, in Bac Giang province, an e-commerce platform will support rural farmers and agricultural cooperatives, facilitating digitalization in agriculture. Around 70% of these communes will be able to access agriculture businesses online in order to provide a more efficient collaboration between the production and selling of farm products. Another important feature that will accelerate the rural economy is digitally showcasing the landscape and cultural aspects of communities to improve tourism in local areas.
By 2025, about 100% of all administrative processes and documentation at all district levels will operate electronically. This will improve communication efforts for people living in rural communities and participate in online meetings with other provincial and district actors. To acquire an accurate assessment of the program, the government will initiate citizen feedback regarding how they are adapting to this new digital platform and make improvements accordingly, for the period of 2026-2030.
The Vietnamese government has acknowledged the challenges that rural communities have in acquiring the necessary resources to acquire a better livelihood. Moreover, the prime minister recognized that digital modernization is beneficial for labor productivity and business in Vietnam. The development of “smart cities” will continue to prioritize better quality of living and offer efficient social services for rural communities.
While Vietnam progresses in creating a digital economy in Vietnam, effective management, funding and planning are crucial for achieving desired outcomes. Prioritizing and improving the rural economy is key to enhancing well-being and providing better social resources to rural communities.
– Alessandra Amati