The workshop, themed “ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” is part of activities ahead the 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) on ASEAN that will take place in Hanoi on September 11-13.
The workshop’s overview
Addressing the event, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said: “Vietnam is heading to sustainable growth on the basis of improving the quality of growth and taking advantage of the opportunities of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 to increase its labor productivity and competitiveness to move up in the global value chain.”
The country has made efforts to be one of the ten biggest software and digital content outsourcing service nations worldwide, with about one million employees in the IT field by 2020, according to Son.
The diplomat also highlighted the chances for ASEAN developing nations to earn fast, sustainable and inclusive development in the Industry 4.0.
He cited estimates of Google and Singapore’s Temasek group, affirming that the Southeast Asian internet economy will reach US$200 billion by 2025, or 6% of the region’s total GDP.
“This is a favourable foundation and a big enough market for innovation and investment in new business models in the region as well as in Vietnam,” Son noted.
However, The Vietnamese official also noted challenges arising in the Industry 4.0. Large-scale automation, changing business models that cause disturbance, displacement, and employment replacement in large scale, especially in labor-intensive industries. “This poses an urgent need for vocational education and training in many ASEAN countries,” he said.
Son suggested each ASEAN government and business promote self-reliance, find new ways to adapt to and prosper in a fast-paced world under the influence of new technology.
Also at the workshop, participants shared ideas and made policy recommendations to help ASEAN enterprises improve their adaptation to and increase their participation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, thus maintaining the region’s active development.
Dr Tran Dinh Thien, director of the Vietnam Institute of Economics suggested ASEAN should take advantage of its vast scale covering more than 600 million people and reinforce the connectivity between its members to grab the chances from the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“It is connectivity that builds up the capacity of enterprises,” Thien said. He also highlighted the role of IT application and human resources in the development amid Industry 4.0. “Experiences show that focusing on intelligence resources and technology application is the drive for “Asian tigers” like Singapore to arise,” said the Vietnamese economist.
“ASEAN has grown enough to move on fast with effective framework, but the bloc needs to boost the connectivity more, on the basis of digital economy. In the process, networks like World Economic Forum play key role,” Thien added.
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