As the world enters the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it looks like Vietnam has a lot to do as it faces a challenging road ahead, because according to the World Economic Forum, the country is not well-prepared for the future.
As evaluated by the WEF, Vietnam ranks low in terms of education, human resources, innovation and technology, which are all crucial factors for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
In its “Readiness for the Future of Production Report 2018,” the WEF analyzes 100 countries and economies that represent over 96 percent of global Manufacturing Value Added (MVA) and over 96 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Its assessment is comprised of 59 indicators across the Drivers of Production and Structure of Production components.
On an overall scale of one to 10, Vietnam scores 4.9 in Drivers of Production and 5.0 in Structure of Production, standing behind Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
The country ranks 90th in technology and innovation, 92nd in technology platform, 77th in ability of innovate, 70th in human capital (evaluating the skills and experience of employees), 75th in quality of universities, 68th in quality of math and science education, and 80th in quality of vocational training.
In December last year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Vietnam needed to provide further technical training for its workers and a comprehensive information technology system to serve a digital economy.
He also set a target of recruiting more than one million highly-skilled workers for the digital technology sector.
In May, he issued a directive to strengthen the country's ability to access the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Phuc directed the country to focus on developing infrastructure for information technology while encouraging businesses to invest in technological innovations in order to seize opportunities and minimize the negative impacts of the revolution.
In technology and communications, Vietnam is expected to have a complete and stable 4G network by 2018. Research and development of 5G technology will also be set into motion to meet the requirements for an internet of things as soon as possible.
In scientific research and education, Vietnam will focus on mathematics, physics, information technology and basic science. Research into advanced, innovative technologies to boost the quality of production, intellectual property and the biological industry will all be given high priority.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, building on the fusion of digital, physical and biological technologies, the internet of things and artificial intelligence, is taking place all over the word and having a strong impact on all aspects of socio-economic life. It is leading to a change in production methods and workforces, according to the directive.
Of the 100 economies included in the WEF's assessment, only 25 from Europe, North America and East Asia are in the best position to benefit from the changing nature of production, said the report.
They are Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S.
Approximately 70 percent of robot sales take place in China, Germany, Japan and the Republic of Korea, with China being the fastest growing market, according to the WEF.