Vietnam is facing a challenging task of creating new job opportunities amidst rapid digital transformation and a growing population. In an effort to address this issue, Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum (WEF), is expected to visit Vietnam later this year to discuss how the forum can support the country in implementing Industry 4.0 and boosting digital transformation.
In June, Vietnam and the WEF signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote cooperation in key sectors such as innovation, skills development, green transformation, and digital transformation. The goal is to establish an Industry 4.0 center and collaborate on various initiatives including plastic action and finance for renewable energy transition.
Schwab’s visit follows his previous trip to Vietnam in 2018, where he shared his insights on sustainable development in the era of Industry 4.0. His book, Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution, provides a practical guide for citizens, business leaders, and policymakers by drawing on the expertise of over 200 technological, economic, and sociological experts.
The book emphasizes the importance of ensuring that domestic workers in Vietnam are not left behind due to digital transformation. With the increasing use of digital technology, individuals like Tran Bao Tran, a fourth-year student at the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, are taking proactive steps to adapt to the changing job market. Tran works as a part-time technological programmer to earn money for further education and to prepare for her future.
Tran’s brother, Tran Minh Duc, who is studying computer science in Germany, also plans to return to Vietnam in order to take advantage of the employment opportunities arising from the country’s strong focus on industrial development and digital transformation.
Vietnam has made significant progress in its transition from a centrally planned to a market economy, becoming one of the most dynamic emerging countries in the East Asia region. However, the country faces the challenge of providing sufficient employment for its growing population, especially as disruptive technologies continue to replace manual labor.
To catch up with Industry 4.0, Vietnam needs to invest more in creating a skilled workforce. Germany serves as a good example with 40% of its workforce employed in the scientific and technological sector. In contrast, Vietnam only allocates 0.5% of its GDP for research and development (R&D).
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has warned that Industry 4.0 and digital transformation may lead to unemployment in Vietnam if the country does not prioritize R&D. It is crucial for Vietnam to prepare for and adapt to the impact of Industry 4.0 in order to explore potential negative impacts and formulate mitigation strategies.
Overall, Vietnam recognizes the importance of leveraging digital transformation and Industry 4.0 for economic growth and job creation. By collaborating with international organizations like the World Economic Forum, Vietnam aims to develop policies and initiatives that will empower its workforce and ensure they are not left behind in the face of technological advancements.