DIGITAL transformation efforts in Vietnam have yielded the biggest improvement among regional economies, according to an industry study of 11 Asia-Pacific markets.
Vietnam saw the highest increase in scores between 2016 and 2019, in the digital society index study carried out by mobile operator industry player GSMA Intelligence.
Its latest rating stood at 49 points for 2019, up by 12 points from three years before, which GSMA Intelligence attributed to “notable improvements in the connectivity component of the index, following the launch and rapid expansion of 4G networks”.
“It was also driven by improvements to the digital identity, digital citizenship and digital lifestyle components,” added the report.
GSMA Intelligence noted that Vietnam is pursuing a national Industry 4.0 strategy that includes infrastructure and human resources, as well as e-government and innovation.
“However, there are still challenges that need to be addressed to make further progress, particularly in the digital commerce component and with regard to policies to support innovative startups,” the report added. Also, 5G mobile technology is expected to make up 5 per cent of wireless connections in Vietnam by 2025, well below the Asia-Pacific average of 23 per cent.
Indeed, Vietnam ranked just eighth overall, among of the 11 markets surveyed. The rankings were topped by four “advanced” economies, with South Korea in pole position at 78 points. Next up were Singapore, Australia and Japan, in that order.
“The gap in the digital societies landscape in Asia-Pacific has narrowed moderately in recent years,” said the report, which classed Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia as “transition” countries, while Pakistan and Bangladesh were “emerging”.
“That said, the gap remains significant. This underscores the need for countries in the emerging category to do more to accelerate progress.”
The study was based on input from government and industry organisations in the markets of Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.