Vietnam has set big economic and social goals for the coming decades, aiming to become a high-income country by 2045. As a significant first step, the country has been pushing for massive digital transformation across economic sectors and government services.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, who also chairs the National Committee for Digital Transformation, stressed the importance of shifting public services and social utilities online to transform Vietnam into a digital society.
These plans are slowly taking shape. Data from the Ministry of Information and Communications show that a hundred percent of government ministries and local departments have already issued action plans and programs on digital transformation.
The percentage of public services available online has increased significantly since 2021, with over 97% of government services now accessible and can be processed digitally. The rate of online public services generating dossiers is 67.8%, twice as much as in the same period last year, Vietnam News reported. The online processing rate was 43.2%, up 14.57% from the previous year.
These improvements led to Vietnam rising five places in the United Nations' new online services index. The country now ranks 76th out of 193 countries.
The online services index is part of the broader E-Government Development Index (EGDI), which measures UN member states’ use of information technologies to promote access and inclusion of its people. Overall, Vietnam has retained its rank on EGDI at 86th place, far above neighbors Cambodia (127) and Laos (159). Thailand, on the other hand, ranked 56th.
In a country that’s used to doing things the traditional way, the introduction of online services in Vietnam presented both advantages and challenges. While the Vietnamese population is considerably tech-savvy and penetration of smartphone usage is high, people have been used to going to physical government offices to process documents or seek public services.
The national government has repeatedly highlighted digital transformation as a “breakthrough new method to shorten the process of industrialization and modernization.” Several programs and initiatives have been launched to accelerate digital goals, including huge investments in digital infrastructure.
Vietnam has already launched more than 50 digital platforms to serve its 98 million people. The ministries of trade, education, and communications currently lead in the percentage of public services this year. The Ministry of Industry and Trade posted the highest online processing rate of 99.99%.
“Digital transformation contributes to bringing into play the strength of the nation and the power of the times,” said PM Chin during the National Digital Transformation Day in October. “Digital transformation must let people and businesses benefit from public services and social utilities more conveniently, efficiently, and faster, and they will create resources for development.”