On November 6 in Hanoi, AmCham, in cooperation with the Vietnam E-Commerce Association, the Vietnam Internet Association, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the European Chamber of Commerce, hosted a workshop to discuss available policy options to boost the impact of the digital economy for economic growth, job creation, and innovation in Vietnam.
The workshop brought together government and industry leaders to discuss further steps that Vietnam can take to unlock the full potential of its digital economy in order to promote economic and social development here. The discussion also focused on the upcoming implementation of Vietnam’s new cybersecurity law.
In his welcome remarks, the Chair of AmCham’s ITTI Committee, Thomas Treutler, expressed concern that the policy approaches that governments are taking toward some technologies are actually moving in directions that would hinder the future growth of the digital economy, particularly in areas such as privacy and cybersecurity. Mr. Treutler noted that a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey showed that 61 percent of responding members said they would be less likely to invest in Vietnam due to the new cyber law. In addition, 89 percent said the law would make Vietnam’s digital economy less competitive.
AmCham Executive Director Adam Sitkoff stressed that AmCham strongly supports the government’s objective of promoting the development of the Internet and digital economy in Vietnam while ensuring data security and the protection of Vietnamese Internet users. He said that he hoped the recently issued draft decree on the implementation of the cybersecurity law would soften some of the most objectionable provisions in the law, including the requirements to set up local offices and store data locally. The Executive Director added that while the business community is deeply concerned about the cyber law, AmCham applauds the government for allowing a robust public consultation period and he hopes to work with Vietnam’s leadership on policy approaches that will advance the underlying objectives of this law while minimizing disruption to businesses, the economy, and Vietnam’s development.