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‘Make in Vietnam’: the way to stop doing outsourcing and increase participation in global value chains

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High technology and innovation are the keys for Vietnam to escape the status of doing outsourcing for foreigners, which has occurred for several decades.

'Make in Vietnam': the way to stop doing outsourcing and increase participation in global value chains

High technology and innovation are the keys for Vietnam to escape the status of doing outsourcing for foreigners

“If we are not brave enough to invest in science and technology and innovation, we will get stuck in the low-productivity, low-added value and middle-income trap,” Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said recently at a groundbreaking ceremony in Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park in Hanoi.

Investing in technology and innovation is extremely important for Vietnam to bring products to a new height and escape the status of doing outsourcing for foreigners which the country has been clinging to for decades.

This is not only true for technology firms but for all enterprises in the economy. Applying and inventing new technologies can help increase productivity and heighten enterprises’ positions.

Electric cars and smartphones are tangible products which can show the resilience of Vietnamese enterprises in the 4.0 era.

Established in 2008 and starting at the bottom of the ranking of commercial banks in the first four years of operation, TP Bank decided that it would digitize and apply high technologies even in its early days.

“TP Bank understands that it needs to digitize to become a digital bank, or it won’t be able to compete with large longstanding banks,” a representative of the bank said at a digital technology business development forum in 2020.

Meanwhile, Viettel is building a digital business culture with the focus on flexibility, creativity, customer orientation, digital thinking and openness.

It has accelerated digital transformation in internal administration, applying modern technologies with international standards. All documents at Viettel have been digitized, 50 percent of manual work has been liberalized, and 30-40 percent of tasks have been automated.

Its ecosystem of digital products provide B2C and B2B services in a wide range of fields, from finance (Viettelpay), digital marketing and OTT (Mocha, Keng), customer care (MyViettel, Viettel ++), e-government, and SmartCity.

The message “Make in Vietnam” initiated by the Ministry of Information and Technology (MIC) has created vitality in the startup community. Vietnam has become the fifth country in the world mastering 5G technology, producing 5G infrastructure equipment and 5G smartphones. This stems from Make in Vietnam pride.

Over 13,000 digital technology firms were established just in the last year, raising the total number of digital technology firms to 58,000. The figure proves that the Make in Vietnam slogan has been realized in real life.

Adding high value

Nguyen Minh Quy, CEO of Novaon, commented that if Vietnam continues to do outsourcing, it will only be a very small part of the value chain.

Vietnam is among the top countries in the region and the world in some fields, such as telecommunications and power. In the last 20 years, Vietnam has been among the countries maintaining high growth rates.

An iPhone model can sell for $1,000, but the highest value belongs to the first links of the chain (learning about customers’ demands, research, product design) and the final links (distribution and marketing). A very small value is allocated to production.

At the closing of the national forum on digital technology firm development, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung spoke about a noteworthy matter. Only 5-6 developing countries become developed after every so-called ‘revolution’. The 4.0 industrial revolution brings opportunities only to some countries. Vietnam and developed countries are at the same starting line.

“Mobile Money started in Kenya, a poor country in Africa. Poverty motivated advancement. Vietnam needs to lead in the 4.0 industry revolution. If Vietnam pioneers in applying 4.0 technology, the world will come here and Vietnam’s products will reach out all over the globe,” Hung said.

“Becoming a pioneer is always the aspiration of the Vietnamese nation and every Vietnamese citizen. It is difficult to implement this, but it is not impossible,” he said.

“Vietnam is behind many countries and it once missed a lot of opportunities on the development path, but this doesn’t mean that we will continue to endure and accept a low position,” he said.

Vietnam is among the top countries in the region and the world in some fields, such as telecommunications and power. In the last 20 years, Vietnam has been among the countries maintaining high growth rates.

And now, Vietnam has more motivating power from the 4.0 industrial revolution, from Make in Vietnam and digital transformation. So, Vietnam’s growth engine will have an additional push to turn the aspiration of becoming a high-income country by 2045 into reality.

In order to accomplish that, the space for creativity must be expanded, while management thinking needs to be reformed, so that creativity is not hindered by rigid regulations and officials’ bureaucracy.

Le Xuan Sang, deputy head of the Vietnam Economics Institute, stressed that Vietnam needs to reform the way of thinking and the institutional regime with the aim of encouraging participation of non-state sectors in science and technology development and innovation.

The expert believes that information technology and digital transformation should be seen as an important push and pillar to support the recovery process, strengthen resilience, and improve growth quality. 

Ha Duy

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/feature/the-way-to-stop-doing-outsourcing-and-increase-participation-in-global-value-chains-713747.html

Sci-tech-environment

Vietnamese YouTubers claim they no longer produce content but videos still appear

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Most owners of the videos with titles “delete channel” and “last videos” on YouTube are still operating.

Vietnamese YouTubers claim they no longer produce content but videos still appear

Tho Nguyen last month decided to delete or hide all her videos and stop producing YouTube content

Tho Nguyen last month decided to delete or hide all her videos and stop producing YouTube content after the scandal related to the posting of a clip in which she was beseeching a doll to grant luck to students who have to attend upcoming exams.

More recently, ViruSs (Dang Tien Hoang) on April 1 stated he will erase the channel to renew himself. Prior to that, many disreputable YouTubers, including NTN, many times announced the leave. However, their video still appears regularly.

Vu Hung from Hoc Vien YouTube (YouTube Creator Academy) with 150,000 members commented that this is commonly seen, saying that content producers need to play tricks to attract viewers, because the more viewers, the bigger money they earn from ads.

According to Hung, when announcing their retirement from content production, YouTubers can attract old followers who have not accessed their channels for a long time, and now want look again to find out what is going on.

This is a good way to increase the number of interactions for the channels, which have high numbers of subscribers but have seen number of views decreasing because of algorithm changes, consumer behavior, overlapped content scanning, and copyright problems.

According to Hung, the decision of Tho Nguyen to stop producing content and hiding her video clips to avoid negative reports and public pressure, was a wise move.

ViruSs and NTN (Nguyen Thanh Nam) are similar cases. “They stopped producing content on their channels to avoid additional reports,” he said.

And when old channels reappear, content producers can lure high numbers of viewers back and fans will be willing to click ‘follow’ again.

Hung noted that there is a difference between Vietnamese and foreign viewers. Vietnamese viewers are not as choosy when deciding to follow channels. In many cases, they click ‘follow’ just because of the invitations of channels’ owners.

Meanwhile, in YouTubers’ groups, members invite each other to subscribe, and buy views and subscribers. The announcement about content production therefore has little significance.

Nguyen Hai (Rikaki Gaming, 1.62 million subscribers), a creator, said these YouTubers are rich but still have to produce clips to attract views.

“YouTubers will ‘retire’ only if no one is interested in them, and they won’t stop working just because of scandals or criticism,” Hai said. 

Phuong Nguyen

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/sci-tech-environment/vietnamese-youtubers-claim-they-no-longer-produce-content-but-videos-still-appear-727718.html

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Project to implement Paris Agreement in Việt Nam to be sped up

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A traffic jam during rush hour in Thanh Xuân District in Hà Nội. Vehicle emission is one of Việt Nam’s biggest source of pollution. — VNA/ Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Steering Committee of the project ‘Support to Việt Nam for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement’ (VN-SIPA) held its second meeting in Hà Nội yesterday with the participation of representatives from ministries, sectors, and localities.

Addressing the meeting, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Lê Công Thành highlighted the project’s support in implementing Việt Nam’s nationally determined contributions (NDC) and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

To speed up the project, he asked participants to make proposals and discuss the 2021 plan, especially activities relating to State management of climate change and enhancing Việt Nam’s role and responsibility as a signatory to the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Weert Borner, Deputy Ambassador of Germany in Việt Nam, noted Việt Nam was one of the first countries to build an action plan to realise the Paris Agreement and one of the first to submit and update its NDC.

He said the VN-SIPA supports Việt Nam in creating the necessary conditions for the deal, to mitigate the impacts of climate change and bring environmental and socio-economic benefits for the country.

Phạm Văn Tấn, Vice Director of the Climate Change Administration at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said as COVID-19 is still a major issue, ministries and localities should prepare alternative measures and speed up the implementation of approved plans.

Kia Fariborz, Chief Advisor of the VN-SIPA project, said last year, Việt Nam completed and updated its NDC report in September, a move lauded by the international community as it was one of the first 20 countries to do so.

The four-year VN-SIPA project was approved by former Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on April 3, 2019, and has a total cost of 10.3 million euros (US$12.31 million), funded by non-refundable official development assistance (ODA) from Germany. It aims to strengthen the legal framework and national capacity in implementing the Paris Agreement, with the core conducting Việt Nam’s NDC.

So far, it has assisted in the building of a climate change programme in the revised Law on Environmental Protection 2020 as well as climate change management documents and sectoral plans for climate change response. It has defined solutions in the central provinces of Quảng Bình and Hà Tĩnh based on their local ecosystems. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/environment/926003/project-to-implement-paris-agreement-in-viet-nam-to-be-sped-up.html

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Female scientist with PhD in immunology pursues research on rare diseases

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Tran Nguyen Kim Thi is a postdoc majoring in AI usage in medicine at the Huge Kaul Precision Medicine Institute at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) in the US.

Female scientist with PhD in immunology pursues research on rare diseases

She obtained a doctorate in immunology in 2020 with research work on the factors of the immune system that affect chronic lung diseases.

Her research found that in patients suffering from uncommon pulmonary fibrosis of unknown origin, their immune systems have a variety of disorders that lead to immune cells attacking their lungs. The damages that accumulate over time turn into hard scarring that replaces normal lung tissue, impairing the lung’s air exchange function.

“The result of the research has been used by Prof Steven Duncan, my teacher, to apply therapies or drugs that eliminate or inhibit the production of new antibodies to treat patients with severe pulmonary fibrosis,” she said.

“Clinical experiments show very satisfactory results. About 50 percent of serious patients under the treatment of the professor have shown improvements. Some people who seem to be dying can get up and walk,” she said.

However, Thi did not continue the project for her postdoc research. She decided to shift to do research on the application of AI in biomedicine. She no longer carries out experiments at biochemical laboratories, but does mostly programming at the computer.

“There is a bitter truth that the percentage of successful research in biomedicine laboratories, as well as other experimental sciences, is very modest. About 90 percent of projects of new researchers fail. There are researchers who still cannot gain achievements after five years to complete their doctoral course,” Thi said, explaining her decision.

Another reason that led to her shift was that she believed she could help many people more directly and quickly with her current work – using AI in medicine to treat patients suffering from uncommon diseases, than by implementing biomedical projects as she did in the past.

Previously, her research was in severe and uncommon chronic lung diseases, including pulmonary fibrosis of unknown origin which has the rate of 1/10,000 people a year.

Now her research is applied to very rare diseases, with only few individuals in the world have, mostly because of genetic causes. The symptoms of the diseases show very early. Patients’ relatives come to precision medicine institutes to find the answers why their children have the disease.

Liberal education

“I believed that studying at the (liberal arts) school would promote my abilities. If I had studied at a normal school, I would not have followed the path of doing scientific research that I am doing now because of the common thought that women should study economics, trade or finance,”

Tran Nguyen Kim Thi

Fifteen years ago, Thi, who was a ninth grader at a small school in Di Linh, Lam Dong province, decided to leave her hometown for Da Lat City to study at the city’s school for the gifted.

After finishing high school, she passed the entrance exam to the Foreign Trade University, a prestigious school. However, she left the school after one semester, which was a shocking decision in the eyes of her friends and relatives.

She then spent time on learning English, attended standardized tests, prepared essays and searched for information to apply for full scholarships.

Thi chose St John’s College, a liberal arts school, which offered a scholarship of $200,000 for four-year study.

“I believed that studying at the school would promote my abilities. If I had studied at a normal school, I would not have followed the path of doing scientific research that I am doing now because of the common thought that women should study economics, trade or finance,” she said.

When following tertiary education, Thi spent her internship at a lab on immunology because she once suffered from an autoimmune disease.

“When learning about my disease, I read a lot of documents and found it very interesting, so I decided to study immunology in the second year at school,” she recalled.

Thi got a letter of introduction from a teacher, which helped her obtain a scholarship.

When asked if it was hectic doing and studying many things, she admitted that she sometimes felt giddy.

“However, modern society needs people with specialized knowledge and broad knowledge. It would be better if you have deep and broad knowledge. For me, broad understanding both helps society and makes my life more interesting,” she said.

Thi’s life can be seen in her images of a young, healthy woman on her personal page. She travels, does physical exercise, participates in festivals, and has a special passion for dancing.

Because of her appearance and personality, she sometimes has trouble because she “does not look like a researcher”.

“Asian people are thought to study well, work hard, have few opinions, and be reserved. But I don’t look like this,” she explained.

Thi is now striving for a balanced life and doesn’t spend all her time on her career.

“I believe that I will learn all my life. I realize that what I like to do is to learn. But this doesn’t mean that I have to study at school, because there are many ways to learn. You can learn something from an article in a fashion journal,” she said. 

Ngan Anh – Phuong Thu

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/feature/female-scientist-with-phd-in-immunology-pursues-research-on-rare-diseases-727444.html

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