Vietnam’s PM Nguyen Tan Dung has approved a plan to develop the nation’s digital content industry, mentioned in this entry last year. The news was reported in the Vietnam News Agency and picked up by the People’s Daily Online.

According to VietNam Net Bridge, Digital Content Industry in Viet Nam “covers e-learning, games including games for computer, online game, interactive game and game for mobile handset, internet e-content such as online newspaper, websites, searching, library; value-added services for mobile consisting of logo, ring tones and digital movies, television and cartoon.”

With regards to policy goals, the People’s Daily (a Xinhua feed) quoted the following numbers, although I got different figures from my own conversion of dong to dollars – if anyone can verify?

Under the program, the industry will post total revenues of 400 million U.S. dollars, and have 10-20 powerful digital content firms by 2010. The government has decided to allocate 1,280 billion Vietnamese dong (80 million U.S. dollars) to implement the program.

Naturally, it is not as simple as throwing money at industry. This article, a translation of the Vietnamese language VietNam Net page, gives some figures for the digital content industry in Vietnam as well as raising some challeges for policymakers that acknowledges Viet Nam as a latecomer to the content industry policy behind Korea and Taiwan.

Asian Joint Ministerial Statement
To provide a little context, Ministers representing governments from across Asia made a joint ministerial statement in October 2005 in a seminar on the Asian Content Industry. The ministers shared several views on the content industry such as that it:

  • has a wide ripple effect on other industries and is playing an important role for mutual prosperity and economic development in the Asian region
  • could make a special contribution to deeper cultural understanding (public diplomacy?) and education (development goal?)
  • needs to be strengthened by policy support in order to realise the growth potential of the content industry and to develop it in each country.

The statement also identified four key areas for development:

  1. Promotion of international collaboration
  2. Promotion of development and exchange of human resources
  3. Expanding content markets
  4. Enhancing the content trade and investment environment and information sharing