Vietnam Smart Cities Development: Opportunities for Domestic and International Collaboration

Smart Cities projects emerge across many nations as interconnected digital systems are developed. As part of the Fourth Industrial RevolutionVietnam aims to develop at least three smart cities by 2020 according to Ministry of Construction. Vietnamese governments have been researching on the new technologies, realizing Internet of ThingsArtificial Intelligence and Big Data hold the key to fufil the goals. Smart Urban Development plan (2016-2030) was established with the key focus on transportation, e-government, security, healthcare and education sectors. 

Phase 1: 2016-2020 – The focus laid on building legal policies and intelligent infrastructure foundation subject to pilot implementation.

Phase 2: 2020-2025 – Finalization of legal regulations and application of ICT framework to smart cities development. The first phase of pilot implementation will be carried out, taking smart cities into operation.

Phase 3: 2025-2030 – First-phase pilot is expected to be completed by 2030, forming a network of smart cities nationwide. Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang and Can Tho are subjected to be the core of smart city network in the Northern, Southern, Central and Mekong Delta regions respectively. 

ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN)

(Credit: The Straits Times, 2018)


26 cities from the member states will be joining ASCN. ASCN aims to facilitate cooperation in sustainable smart cities development which focuses on developing digital infrastructure and improving connectivity within the region. As proposed earlier in April by Singapore, Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi and Da Nang set to be part of ASCN.

Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh aims to be Vietnam first smart city. From now till 2020, the city places great emphasis on big data, cloud computing infrastructure, development of data and security centre. Moreover, it plans to incorporate smart solutions in healthcare, education, traffic management, flood control and food safety.

With its plan to be smart city by 2030, it focuses on 4 major sectors include education, healthcare, transportation and tourism. By 2020, Hanoi sets to establish core infrastructure and smart application while the second phase from 2020 to 2025 will plan to make solutions operational.

Da Nang
Da Nang plan to be a smart city by 2020 and green city by 2025. Currently, it works with FPT, a leading technology corporation in Vietnam on various smart city projects such as traffic systems and natural disaster management. The city as well works on improving public transport and residential management.

Collaboration Needed to Build Smart Cities

Vietnam smart cities development plan anticipates growing interest from foreign investments. Earlier this year, a joint venture between Vietnam BRG Group and Japanese Sumitomo Corporation resulted in US$4 billion investment for Hanoi Smart City Project. Hanoi’s city council has increased its budget to US$127 million to implement smart city plans. Last year, Korean Lotte Group signed US$884 million contract with Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee for Ho Chi Minh city development.

Vietnam is a prime location for huge business potential. In the first phase 2016-2020 smart cities projects, the development of digital infrastructure and technology applications are among the crucial solutions. It is still an early stage development for Vietnam and areas of expertise in master planning, connectivity and traffic management are essential to ensure smart cities become reality. Partnership and collaboration between domestics and international stakeholders undoubtedly could compromise Vietnam smart cities transformation.

Find out more opportunities within Vietnam’s digital transformation at our 26th Edition of Asia IoT Business Platform on 12 & 13 November 2018 at Rex Hotel Ho Chi Minh City. Drop me a note at [email protected], if you would like to learn more about other smart cities developments in Vietnam mentioned by Viettel at our last year conference.

Lalita Phichagonakasit

20 August 2018

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