Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son made the remarks at a workshop hosted by the Foreign Ministry in Hanoi on August 21, which discussed opportunities and challenges facing ASEAN enterprises in the fourth industrial revolution (4.0).
The event, themed “ASEAN 4.0: entrepreneurs in the fourth industrial revolution” is part of activities underway ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) ASEAN 2018, set to transpire in Hanoi from September 11-13.
Participants shared ideas and made policy recommendations to help ASEAN enterprises improve their adaptation to and increase their participation in the 4.0 industrial revolution, thus keeping up the region’s active development.
ASEAN is the world's sixth-largest economy with 630 million people, of whom, 260 million have a regular access to the Internet. The figure is expected to rise to 480 million by 2020.
Roughly 60% of Vietnam’s 93 million population are under 35 years of age and they have quick accessibility to new technology and about 55% are Internet users.
According to Google and Singaporean Temasek groups, the Internet economy in Southeast Asia is forecast to hit approximately US$ 200 billion by 2025, or 6 percent of the region's total GDP.
The International Labor Organisation (ILO) said about 56% of the workforce of five ASEAN countries, namely Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, are at high risk of being replaced by new technologies in about two decades.
|Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son gives a speech at the workshop
In his opening speech, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said Vietnam is working to be one of the world’s top 10 biggest software and digital content outsourcing service nations, with around 1 million employees in the IT field by 2020.
The Deputy FM also pointed out opportunities for ASEAN developing nations to make rapid, sustainable and inclusive development in the fourth industrial revolution, noting that this is a favourable foundation and a big enough market for innovation and investment in new business models in the region as well as in Vietnam.
However, Son also underlined challenges in the 4.0 industrial revolution, saying that large-scale automation, changing business models that cause disturbance, displacement, and employment replacement in large scale, especially in labor-intensive industries.
In his remarks, Tan Wei Ming- a Singaporean Embassy representative- said that in order to adapt to and flourish in a fast-changing world under the influence of new technology, the governments of ASEAN countries and ASEAN businesses should promote self-reliance, find new directions and solutions, and outline a long-term vision to ensure the sustainable development and prosperity of the member countries.
He also suggested the Governments of ASEAN countries step up cooperation and experience sharing with both member nations and external partners and multilateral institutions so as to take full advantage of this revolution.
Son affirmed Vietnam’s determination to build a facilitating government towards boosting institutional reform and creating a favorable environment for enterprises and people, especially young generation in order to promote start-up spirit, creativity and dynamism of the whole country.
Attendees at the workshop also shared new perspectives, learnt lessons and good practices with Vietnam to help it deal with revolutionary industrial revolution 4.0 related issues.