Digital platforms improve competitiveness

Digital platforms are no longer exclusive to tech companies, and they have become increasingly popular in other sectors as they look to enhance their competitiveness.

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Speakers at the seminar discuss the application of a digital platform economy to enhance competitiveness in Vietnam. (Photo courtesy of VEPR)
These comments were heard at a recent seminar on the application of a digital platform economy in Hanoi.

The seminar was co-organised by the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR) and UPGen Vietnam.

Vietnam has been adapting to the development of the global economy as well as science and technology in recent years, but the country is still facing issues such as laws, cyber security and privacy, as well as a shortage of expert IT staff. Vietnamese management agencies remain “confused” about new transport models such as Grab and Be, the seminar heard.

Tran Thanh Hai, former CEO of Be Group, said the market is very competitive and the key issues why Be is struggling to compete with Grab are policies and capital.

The country's technology start-up environment is facing many shortcomings, from the legal framework to service sectors, because technology always develops faster than the legal framework, Hai said.

Vietnam has many policies to promote digital platforms to support businesses, however, these policies have handed the advantage to foreign businesses, creating unfair competition, he noted.

Agreeing with Hai, Do Hoai Nam, UPGen Chairman, said the most difficult for Vietnamese tech enterprises is the ability to compete in terms of capital.

Domestic enterprises have to look at other factors, from creativity to technology, based on the local market.

To do that, the State plays a very important role in creating a fair playing field through legal mechanisms and frameworks, Nam noted.

The most important asset in the field of technology is a user database, Hai said.

Users are employing foreign services every day and they are exploiting rather than investing in the Vietnamese market, he said.

Therefore, domestic enterprises need their own data because this is a national resource, he emphasised.

He said the State needs a mechanism to control data resources, while domestic enterprises must focus on investing in technology and avoid dependence on services supplied by foreign tech corporations.

Nguyen Duc Thanh, VEPR Director, emphasised that firstly, domestic digital platforms must become more competitive.

This is also the strategy many countries are using to create a digital platform ecosystem, where cooperation and co-creation are connected, said Thanh.

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