Viewing cable 03HANOI340
Title: VIETNAM COUNTRY GATEWAY LAUNCHED

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
03HANOI3402003-02-12 08:22:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Hanoi
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS HANOI 000340 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED 
 
STATE PASS USAID FOR ANTOINETTE FERRARA 
STATE ALSO PASS USTR FOR EBRYAN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECPS ECON ETRD EAID VM
SUBJECT: VIETNAM COUNTRY GATEWAY LAUNCHED 
 
REF: (A) 02 Hanoi 2601 (B) 02 HANOI 2762 
 
¶1.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  Marking another step in Vietnam's 
efforts to increase access to the internet, Vietnam and the 
World Bank launched the Vietnam Country Gateway Project in 
January.  Understanding the importance of information 
technology to economic and social development, this project 
plans on providing Internet access throughout Vietnam. 
Furthermore, it seeks to create a central E-hub through 
which numerous databases can be accessed.  This ambitious 
project has the potential to dramatically change the lives 
of Vietnam's rural population, which is extremely isolated. 
However, Vietnam's aspiration for such socio-economic 
development directly conflicts with the Government's desire 
to control the flow of information.  Therefore, this 
project's success will ultimately depend upon the 
willingness of the Government to allow unfettered access to 
the Internet.  END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2.  (U) On January 16, Vietnam announced the launch of the 
Vietnam Country Gateway Project (VNCG).  Sponsored by the 
World Bank as part of the Global Information Technology 
Development Program (InfoDev), the GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT 
GATEWAY is a system that seeks to create an "open" 
environment based on access to databases throughout the 
world from one central E-hub in order to foster economic 
development.  The Vietnam Country Gateway will make 
information and knowledge available for domestic and 
international users.  Furthermore, it will promote 
information technology applications in order to achieve 
further economic and social development. 
 
¶3.  (U) VNCG will focus on extending and improving internet 
services to promote the dissemination of quality 
information, catalyze the development of the country's 
Internet economy, and provide support to government and 
private sector initiatives for economic development and 
alleviation of poverty throughout Vietnam.  VNCG's main 
objective is to broaden the capacity for providing Internet 
services to remote and rural areas of the country. 
 
¶4.   (U) The dissemination and exchange of information is 
crucial in order to achieve Vietnam's stated goal of 
integrating into the region and the world.  Because of the 
potential impact of Internet technology on all socio- 
economic arenas and the project's community service nature, 
support of Government Ministries and agencies, local 
authorities, international organizations and funding 
institutions is essential.  At this point the project seems 
to have solid support from all concerned. 
 
¶5.  (U) As the recipient of a 40,000 USD grant from the 
World Bank for the planning stage (an additional USD 600,000 
implementation grant from the World Bank is expected to 
follow), Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications (VNPT) will 
provide guidance for development strategy, telecommunication 
infrastructure, and related policy issues.  Vietnam Data 
Communication (VDC) will implement the program, with the 
Director and Deputy Director of VDC occupying the posts of 
project coordinator and project manager respectively (see 
ref B for an explanation of Vietnam's telecom sector). 
 
¶6.   (SBU) Comment: Speakers at the launch often referred to 
"world-wide internet access" and the "global database of 
knowledge."  The question will be to what extent the GVN 
will filter and restrict this access, especially given 
recent regulations requiring registration of web sites (for 
further discussion of this issue, see ref A). This ambitious 
project has the potential to dramatically change the lives 
of Vietnam's rural population, which is extremely isolated. 
However, Vietnam's aspiration for such socio-economic 
development directly conflicts with the Government's desire 
to control the flow of information through website 
registration requirements, Internet filters, and censorship 
of the local media.  Therefore, this project's success will 
ultimately depend upon the willingness of the Government to 
allow unfettered access to the Internet. 
 
BURGHARDT