Experts discuss digital economy at int’l business forum

Business leaders, policy makers, economic experts and academics discussed how Vietnam’s economy could contribute to and reap benefits from the global digital economy at the annual International Business Forum organized by RMIT Vietnam’s School of Business & Management last week.

Opening the event, Associate Professor Victor Kane, RMIT Asia Graduate Centre Head of Department, noted that Vietnamese firms have become more active in the digital economy.

“The global digital economy is estimated to be worth US$11.5 trillion already and will continue to grow in the future,” Kane remarked. “According to the World Bank, Vietnam has already achieved success with ride-hailing services, ecommerce platforms and accommodation platforms. They challenge existing retail systems and fintech and payment solution companies. Many of these firms are immediately connecting with customers and suppliers around the world.”

Dr. Nguyen Quang Trung at RMIT Vietnam described a born-global firm as “a venture launched to exploit a global niche from the first day of its operations.”

According to former Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan, even though there are still many challenges involved in developing a startup business, the startup ecosystem within Vietnam has improved due to the prompt actions of the government and proactive approaches of businesses.

“The National Innovation Center is being developed and is expected to be the nucleus for promoting the country’s economic development based on innovation, science and technology in the context of the rapidly changing Fourth Industrial Revolution,” Quan said. “It will prioritize work on smart factories, digital content, network security, smart cities and environmental technologies.”

As a former CEO of many technology companies in Vietnam including Sony Ericsson Vietnam, Yahoo Vietnam and Microsoft Vietnam, Vice President of Cloud Services at VNG Corporation Vu Minh Tri shared five common factors of companies that are successful on a global scale: they can address global problems, scale quickly, grow with the ecosystem, innovate and pick the best solutions.

He used Kodak’s story as an example of industry disruption through innovation and an Instagram case study to encourage startups to innovate.

For those who want to start a born-global company, Trung of RMIT Vietnam provided a set of criteria extracted from his research “Born Global: Do you have what it takes?” which was conducted with his colleague.

These include a passion for adventure, an international outlook and international entrepreneurial orientation, a differentiation strategy, good health, comfort with risks, people skills, a willingness to embrace failure, an ability to leverage advanced information and communications technology, the right formula for corporate governance and decision-making power.

Established in 2017, RMIT Vietnam’s annual International Business Forum brings stakeholders in the business and economic development industries together to create a space for vital discussions of economic and business themes in Vietnam. It also allows for interindustry and interdisciplinary networking.

A similar event will be held in Hanoi on August 14.

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