Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for development of small and medium-sized exporters in East Asia: Viet Nam
Ngyuyen Thanh Ha
IT has been a government priority for the social-economic development for a long time now. However, until very recently, the focus was given to IT development and application in public administration and the large corporate sector. Most of government resources for IT development and application were directed to large State-owned enterprises. Thus, SMEs and the private sector lacked critical support for the initial phase of IT application. This has a negative impact on the scope, scale and result of IT development and application for the SME sector, with the result that IT use in SMEs was very limited. However, there have also been a number of efforts to promote IT application in SMEs and the private sector, especially from SMEs themselves, industry and trade associations (notably the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)), entrepreneurs, and also some government agencies (notably the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Department (Vietrade)). Several industrial clusters have been formed, to help one another in IT application. Efforts to promote e-commerce businesses and their cooperation with government agencies have also been pursued by many SMEs. The Government of Viet Nam has ALSO recently adopted a more pro-active and specific policy toward IT development and application for SMEs, including extensive human resource development for SMEs and the allocation of financial resources for IT in the SME sector. At the same time, regulatory and institutional frameworks (such as electronic accreditation), and technical infrastructure (e.g. broadband development), for IT application are also being actively developed, by the Government and the agencies concerned. All of these efforts are expected to usher in new era for a broader and more effective application of IT for SMEs in Viet Nam in the near future.
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