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Nestled in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is emerging as a dynamic force in the global digital landscape, fueled by a thriving economy and a young, tech-savvy population. Vietnam aspires to be a regional leader in the digital age, guided by a strategic vision and a strong commitment to innovation.

The IMF ranks Vietnam among the top twenty fastest-growing global economies, projecting a GDP growth of 5.8 percent in 2024. With a population of approximately 102 million and a nominal GDP of USD 469 billion in 2024, Vietnam ranks as the 35th largest economy in the world, or 26th when measured by purchasing power parity (PPP).

The country's economic direction is guided by a series of plans, which outline development initiatives, growth targets, and reforms under the central government's oversight.

The Master Plan

Vietnam is embarking on an ambitious journey to transform its digital landscape, propelled by the unveiling of the Information and Communication Infrastructure Master Plan for the Period 2021-2030, with a Vision to 2050. Spearheaded by Prime Minister, Phạm Minh Chính, and codified as Decision 36/QD-TTg, this comprehensive blueprint sets the stage for Vietnam's evolution into a high-tech powerhouse.

At its core, the Master Plan is a testament to Vietnam's commitment to leveraging emerging technologies to drive economic growth, foster innovation, and bolster cybersecurity resilience.

Here's an overview of the key initiatives outlined in Vietnam's digital infrastructure roadmap:

Broadband Communication Infrastructure and High-Speed Internet

Vietnam recognizes the transformative potential of high-speed internet in bridging digital divides and fueling economic progress. The Master Plan prioritizes the establishment of a strong broadband communication infrastructure, aiming to deliver high-speed internet to all corners of the nation and extend 5G coverage to 99% of the population by 2030.

Investments in International Telecommunications Cable Lines

Global connectivity will be improved through strategic investments in international telecommunications cable lines, which will promote international trade and cooperation. This comprehensive blueprint lays the groundwork for economic growth, innovation, and cybersecurity resilience, signaling Vietnam's transformation into a high-tech powerhouse.

The plan further outlines Vietnam's intention to deploy and invest in an additional 4-XNUMX international telecommunications cable lines by the year 2025.

Transition to IPv6 Technology

The transition to IPv6 technology by 2025 marks a significant milestone in Vietnam's digital transformation journey, enabling scalability, security, and enhanced connectivity in the digital ecosystem.

The Ministry of Information and Communications hopes to have raised the usage of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) to 65–80%, placing Vietnam among the top 8 countries in the world for IPv6 usage.

The ministry emphasized the necessity of transitioning to IPv6—the latest version of the Internet Protocol—to ensure sufficient address resources for the advancement of internet infrastructure and connectivity. This transition is crucial for accommodating emerging services such as cloud computing, 5G/6G networks, and the Internet of Things (IoT), thereby supporting the evolution of digital technologies and facilitating seamless connectivity across various platforms.

Green Data Centers

Projected to experience a remarkable growth surge reaching USD 1.03 billion by 2028, Vietnam's data center economy is poised to become the cornerstone of the nation's digital prowess.

Vietnam is poised to capitalize on the burgeoning data center economy by prioritizing the development of green data centers. By adhering to energy-efficient practices, the country aims to foster environmental sustainability while effectively addressing the escalating demands for data storage and processing.

By the year 2025, the goal is to establish national data centers that form the foundation of comprehensive national databases. This initiative entails the establishment of a minimum of three multi-purpose data centers at the national level, supplemented by additional facilities at regional levels.

Dedicated IT Parks

The establishment of specialized IT parks acts as innovation incubators, promoting the development of high-value IT products and services in the country. These IT parks hope to attract both domestic and international tech companies by creating a collaborative and research-friendly environment, positioning Vietnam as a regional hub for technological excellence.

These dedicated IT parks not only act as catalysts for economic growth but also play an important role in developing talent and entrepreneurship. By providing cutting-edge infrastructure and networking opportunities, these parks enable both startups and established businesses to thrive in the digital age.

Outlined in the Master Plan is Vietnam's ambitious objective to establish 12-14 IT parks by 2025, a number set to expand to 16-20 by the year 2030.

Cybersecurity Resilience

In February 2024, Vietnam witnessed a notable decline in cyber-attacks, totaling 862 incidents, representing a 9.3% decrease from January and a substantial drop of 48.9% compared to the previous year, according to reports from the MIC. However, amidst this positive trend, there was a concerning rise in virus-infected computer networks, with over 432,400 Internet Protocol (IP) addresses identified, marking a 13% increase from the previous year.

Despite these challenges, Vietnam's commitment to enhancing cybersecurity remains steadfast. As of February, the country boasts a total of 3,224 information systems in operation. Notably, 2,145 of these systems have been classified according to their security levels, comprising 66.5% of the total. This reflects a slight uptick of 0.5% from January and a more significant increase of 6% compared to the same period last year.

In alignment with these efforts, the Master Plan emphasizes cybersecurity, aiming to fortify information systems, raise public awareness, and establish a robust cyber information security product ecosystem. These initiatives are essential in safeguarding critical assets and fostering a secure online environment amidst the evolving digital landscape.

As Vietnam charts its course toward a digital future, investors are encouraged to align their strategies with the Master Plan, leveraging government support and sector-specific incentives to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the country's burgeoning digital economy. By embracing innovation and collaboration, Vietnam has the potential to become a leading hub for technological advancement and cybersecurity in the Asia Pacific.

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