“The future does not depend on the past in this new era. Developing countries have fewer facilities from the previous revolutions, but they have fewer burdens and can move faster,” he said while attending a co-chairs meeting organised within the framework of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN, taking place in Hanoi from September 11-13.
He went on to say that success was not so much about technologies but about policies.
“Since developing countries don’t have a solid legal framework, they are more flexible to develop new policies to adapt and accept changes,” Hung said.
The acting minister said he came to the event to share his initiatives about the future for Vietnam and the region.
“I want to share the idea of developing one ASEAN, meaning a flat ASEAN – no roaming charges or roaming charges as low as local charges, so that everybody can travel but feel like they’re at home,” Hung said.
He also suggested establishing an ASEAN University of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), saying ICT is the key sector in the fourth industrial revolution.
The acting minister also put forward an initiative to set up a regional cyber security information centre and expressed his hope that the initiatives will be discussed during the forum.
“Our life nowadays depends on the internet, but the internet is not safe enough – so we have to make it safer in the future,” he said.
Meanwhile, Anne Birgitte Albrectsen, Chief Executive Officer of Plan International, a development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls, said she hoped discussions at the forum would help close the technology gap for women and girls.
“We’re seeing that women actually have less access to the internet, less access to mobile phones, young girls and women have fewer skills to enter the technology sector. Generally in technology, we’re seeing only 10 percent of the employees being young women. And they’re certainly not climbing the ladder in companies,” she said.
Social norms still lag behind, she added.
“Women are still expected to take care of the home. Young girls and women cannot be what they cannot see,” she said.
Sharing this opinion, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance of Indonesia, said that governments would have to prove their roles.
“It’s very exciting for young people to come into this fourth industrial revolution. But in order for this revolution to become an equal opportunity for everyone, there needs to be policies today that will prepare them to be able not only to use it and enjoy it but also to adapt and innovate,” she said.