HCMC wants to be equal to developed nations in telecommunications infrastructure

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) should offer 5G technology citywide in 2022 at the latest so that its telecommunications infrastructure would be equivalent to developed urban areas like New York City, asked Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung in the working session with the HCMC People’s Committee yesterday on information and communications development from 2019 – 2020.

Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan delivers a speech at the meeting. (Photo by Viet Dung)

Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan delivers a speech at the meeting. (Photo by Viet Dung)

In the meeting, Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan highly appreciated the care of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) to the city via the collaborative program to develop this field.

The city’s Party Chief affirmed that HCMC must strictly follow all general guidelines and policies of the nation while closely cooperating with related state units in each field to actively develop a proper growth plan.

As to information technology (IT), the city clearly needs support from MoIC to contribute to the national breakthrough, especially in certain focused missions. Accordingly, HCMC is now implementing five citywide tools of building a common database, constructing a simulation center to forecast local socio-economic strategies, creating an operating center, and forming an information security center as well as the electronic government.

Therefore, Secretary Nhan hoped that MoIC would help the city to identify the shared database of the same level, and to successfully simulate or forecast possible scenarios so that it would timely deliver an optimal management solution, avoiding unexpected situations at all cost.

The city’s Party Chief also mentioned the plan to establish an innovative urban area in the eastern part of HCMC, including District 2, District 9, and Thu Duc District, in order to become a driving force for the general economic development of the whole city.

He stated that this newly formed region would form a close connection among the research and training aspect (the Vietnam National University – HCMC), the hi-tech application aspect (the Hi-tech Park), and the most modern urban zone (Thu Thiem New Urban Area) which has a to-be financial center.

He cited that HCMC accounts for 10 percent of the total national population, yet it contributes 25 percent to the national GDP. This shows that the city is ‘the core’ in the national economic development, and the new innovative region will become the key factor, making up 30 percent of the urban GDP, said Mr. Nhan.

According to Secretary Nhan, HCMC aims at achieving the four goals of a fast and sustainable development, especially in economy; better comprehensive services for its residents; more effective municipal authorities; and the participation of the public in the management process.

Regarding Artificial Intelligence (AI), the city’s Party Chief said that this is a relatively new field to the city, yet the inability to master it means a surely failure in this Industry 4.0 era.

In particular, he suggested that the HCMC People’s Committee place an ‘order’ for MoIC and related businesses to establish a strategy for the database digitization in the city until 2025, prioritizing data arisen daily in the management and operation process. This will greatly help the city to fulfill other tasks, added Mr. Nhan.

He welcomed the MoIC’s order for HCMC to further research on AI, saying that the city is ready for the task and is waiting for the list of prioritized jobs that implement AI to boost performance. In September 2019, the HCMC People’s Committee will announce a similar list to address possible urban tasks.

Minister Nguyen Manh Hung affirmed in the meeting that MoIC would wholeheartedly support HCMC in making good use of innovative technologies to foster the city’s development and tackle current thorny issues.

“MoIC will assign a taskforce to closely cooperate with HCMC in this aspect”, said Mr. Hung.

He also recommended that in order to achieve the goals of building a smart city, HCMC needs a detailed plan in 2022 at the latest so that 100 percent of this city’s residents own a smartphone and 100 percent of the households here have access to the Internet. This would enable the municipal authorities to offer public administrative services to their citizens at all time in all places, he said.

Simultaneously, until 2020, HCMC has to offer 5G technology to industrial parks, research centers, and universities located here, added the Minister.

He instructed that HCMC take full advantage of all possible forces from businesses, especially Information-Communications Technology (ICT) ones since they occupy 50 percent of the total national number. It is, therefore, necessary to foster the growth of these companies.

In the meeting, Vice Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen mentioned about the gap between the technology development speed and the investment procedures. Accordingly, the former is too fast for the latter to follow.

Hence, it is now essential to improve these investment procedures and deliver more power to local authorities. Since HCMC hopes to implement IT in all fields, develop AI, and build data centers, it should form suitable operation and management regulations for those centers with the support from MoIC, said Mr. Tuyen.

By KIEU PHONG – MANH HOA – Translated by Thanh Tam

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