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Viet Nam’s digital economy estimated to be worth USD14bn,1 constituting 5% of the ASEAN Member States’ (AMS) GDP.2 The digital economy is expected grow from USD14bn to USD52bn by 2025, expanding at a rate of 26% CAGR.3 Going forward, digital trade will play an increasingly important role in Viet Nam’s economy, growing faster than traditional trade.

As this report will highlight, there is still significant scope to further increase and accelerate overall trade through harnessing national digitalisation efforts and leveraging international standards. Greater use of new and emerging technologies is not only creating trade opportunities in digital goods and services, it is also increasing the trade in physical goods and services that can be delivered digitally or otherwise enhanced through digital enablers.

Adoption of international standards has the potential to accelerate digital trade. For instance, by enabling businesses and governments to digitise using systems that can interoperate and interconnect with one another, seamless cross-border trade is facilitated. Standards, therefore, play the role that regulation has traditionally played: facilitating inclusive market access and participation, ensuring competition, reducing compliance costs, benchmarking universal access to digital systems, information and technology, and boosting productivity.

Digital technologies can significantly lower barriers to trade, improve trade efficiencies and open access to markets, creating new trade possibilities. For Viet Nam, this report estimates that—at a minimum—digital trade could increase to a total projected AUD225.4bn by 2030. This suggests that the economic value of digital trade has the potential to increase 500% for Viet Nam.

In this context—particularly noting the impacts and challenges of COVID-19—it is useful to examine the ways in which digital trade is taking shape in Viet Nam, and the ways in which international standards can be leveraged to maximize its growth potential and ensure it is inclusive.

To scale this potential growth, this report will:

  • Examine digital trade and break down its key components;
  • Estimate the economic value of Viet Nam’s digital trade;
  • Identify digital trade areas currently being prioritised by Viet Nam;
  • Propose priority areas to be focused upon by Viet Nam;
  • Identify key international standards for each prioritised area to focus on; and
  • Map out a suggested way forward to accelerate digital trade growth.

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