On the afternoon of April 15, 2021, the General Statistics Office held a workshop on Knowledge sharing on measuring digital economic. Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong, Director General of the General Statistics Office chaired the workshop. The workshop was organized with the support of World Bank.

Attending the workshop were Ms. Judy Yang, senior economist of World Bank and colleagues. On the side of the Ministries and branches, there were delegates from the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) and National Economics University, Foreign Trade University. On the side of GSO attending the workshop, there were Mr. Nguyen Trung Tien, Deputy General Director, leaders and experts from departments and units under the General Statistics Office.

Speaking at the opening of the Workshop, Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong, Director General of the General Statistics Office said that on June 3, 2020, the Prime Minister introducing “Program for National digital transformation by 2025 with orientations towards 2030” with the goal of joining the group of 50 leading e-Government countries. The General Statistics Office is an agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, which is responsible for participating in the study, development and promulgation of a system of digital economic statistical indicators; building new methods in data collection to measure the impact of digital transformation on socio-economic aspects and people; periodic publication. The Director General emphasized the role of digital economic measurement and said that this workshop is very useful for the General Statistics Office. She said thank to World Bank for the support to the General Statistics Office in recent years.

At the workshop, Mr. Shawn Tan, senior economist, Department of Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation of World Bank gave a presentation on Digital transformation, Innovation, Creativity and technology application of Viet Nam enterprises. Mr. Tan emphasized that Viet Nam’s transition from a medium-income economy to a high-income economy requires growth to be based on productivity, in which digital technology is a tool to speed up the increase in labor productivity of enterprises, increase adaptability and develop new businesses. Digital technologies will bring many benefits to businesses, but also there are risks. The main contents of the presentation are: Framework for business digitization and economic transformation; the importance of the digital economy in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic; World Development Report on Digital Technologies 2016; innovation, creation and digitization in enterprises in Viet Nam; digital government analysis. World Bank supported the General Statistics Office in surveying the application of technology in Viet Nam with 1,500 enterprises in the industrial and service sectors nationwide. Data collected from October 2019 to February 2020. The survey structure includes many industry-specific modules.

Following that, Mr. Jaffar Al-Rikabi, an economist of World Bank, gave an online presentation at the General Statistics Office on the macroeconomy of digital economy, in which the content was mainly about the measurements of sectors and drawbacks. While there is still a lot of controversy surrounding the digital economy’s macroeconomics, including how it measures, and its impact on growth, productivity, and well-being, it is a fact that digitization is rapidly developing globally and also in East Asia. Measuring the size of today’s digital economy is facing many challenges such as definition, data quality, digital product consumption … However the digital economy can be measured from the “production” side or the adoption /” user” side. The presentation gave an example of the Digital Economy in Indonesia and highly appreciated the role of the digital economy in economic growth. Since then, World Bank poses questions for Viet Nam: (1) How to define a digital economy; (2) What data is the General Statistics Office currently collecting about the digital economy; (3) Does Viet Nam plan to conduct surveys specializing in different aspects of the digital economy; (4) Is considering alternative methods for measuring the consumption of digital products, such as the estimation of the opportunity cost of digital products through surveys of time using; (5) How the data and database value are currently / intended to be measured; (6) Which changes been made in labor force and business surveys to better capture the impact of the sharing economy; (7) To establish a baseline, measure the digital economy using the yield method, the income method or the method of expenditure; interested in analyzing Viet Nam’s digital economy from both the producer and the user side?

The participants discussed the questions posed by World Bank. They also asked many questions for the World Bank’s economic experts, and contributing many useful ideas at the Workshop.

Speaking at the end of the Workshop, Director General Nguyen Thi Huong highly appreciated the workshop results. She emphasized once again the importance of measuring the digital economy and the role of the General Statistics Office in developing a Digital Economic Statistical Indicator System to measure the implementation of the objectives of Program for national digital transformation according to Decision 749-TTg dated June 3, 2020. The Director General hoped that international organizations as well as the World Bank continue to support Viet Nam in implementing well the national digital transformation program.