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Vietnam sets out plans for Industry 4.0

Released at: 10:49, 08/05/2017

Vietnam sets out plans for Industry 4.0

Illustrative image (Source: VnExpress)

PM issues directive to ensure Vietnam benefits as much as possible and eases any negative effects stemming from the fourth industrial revolution.

by Duy Anh

In preparation for an incoming wave of new technologies that many believe will fundamentally change global production, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued a directive on May 5 to strengthen the country’s ability to access the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0.

He directed the country to focus on developing infrastructure for information technology while encouraging enterprises to invest in technological innovations from now to 2020, to seize opportunities and minimize any negative impacts of the revolution.

In technology and communications, Vietnam is expected to have a complete, stable 4G network by 2018. Research and development of 5G technology will also be set into motion to meet the requirements for the Internet of Things (IoT) as soon as possible. Human resources for information technology, especially information security and safety, will therefore be prioritized.

In scientific research and education, Vietnam will focus on mathematics, physics, information technology, and basic sciences. Research into advanced, innovative technologies to boost the quality of production, intellectual property, and the biological industry will all receive top priority.

The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs will revise training and education for workers, to focus on mastering and making use of the technological advances from the revolution and to combat any negative effects it may have on the labor market.

The Ministry of Finance, meanwhile, will encourage enterprises to invest in research into advanced, innovative technologies by introducing adjusted tax and finance policies. Conventions and academic support will also be made available from Vietnam’s Academy of Science and Technology.

Building on the fusion of digital, physical and biological technologies, IoT, and artificial intelligence, Industry 4.0 is taking hold all over the word and having a strong impact on all aspects of socioeconomic life. It is leading to a change in production methods and workforces, Mr. Phuc’s directive stated.

Ministries and agencies in general were asked to promptly develop e-Government, review and remove inappropriate business conditions, and amend management regulations on exports and imports towards fewer administrative procedures.

They were assigned to review strategies and action plans in accordance with the development trends in Industry 4.0, building strategies for digital transformation and smart administration, prioritizing the digital technology industry, smart agriculture, tourism, and urban areas, and reviewing and selecting key products and national strategically-competitive products.

Industry 4.0

It’s not by chance that Industry 4.0 is mentioned often in State documents and speeches by government officials. The topic even plays an important role as one of the six key tasks for the Ministry of Industry and Trade this year. Industry 4.0 is happening and Vietnam will miss the boat if it doesn’t make an appropriate response.

The term refers to the combination of several major innovations in digital technology, all coming to maturity right now and all poised to transform the energy and manufacturing sectors.

These technologies include advanced robotics and artificial intelligence, sophisticated sensors, cloud computing, IoT, data capture and analytics, digital fabrication, including 3D printing, software-as-a-service and other new marketing models, smartphones and other mobile devices, and platforms that use algorithms to direct motor vehicles, including navigation tools, ride-sharing apps, delivery and ride services, and autonomous vehicles, with the embedding of all these elements in an interoperable global value chain, shared by many companies from many countries.

There are many reasons for Vietnam to take up Industry 4.0 as emerging countries will actually have the most to gain. It can leverage digitization to gain efficiency in its horizontal integration, working with the global manufacturers to whom it supplies all manner of raw materials, parts, and components. The more closely Vietnamese companies align with the platforms of Industry 4.0, the more potential customers it will be able to reach.

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