The 12th National Party Congress determined: “Promoting the development of the defense and security industry for both military and civilian purposes; increasing resources, creating modern material and technical foundations for the development of the People’s Army and the People’s Public Security Forces, meeting the requirements of protecting the Fatherland in the new situation.”
While inheriting that point of view, the political draft report at the 13th National Party Congress also gives new points: “Building and developing a modern dual-use defense and security industry, both satisfying the requirements of the task of protecting the Fatherland and making an important contribution to national socio-economic development.”
To clarify the new points in the political report at the 13th National Party Congress, reporters of the People’s Army Online Newspaper had an interview with Major General Hoang Son, Secretary of the Party Committee and Deputy General Director of Military Industry – Telecoms Group (Viettel).
Researching and developing high level technologies for national defense
Reporter: Mr. Deputy General Director, documents of the 13th National Party Congress mention the need to develop a number of key science and technology branches to solve urgent issues and apply scientific and technological advances to both economic and defense sectors. What do you think about this policy and what will Viettel do to successfully realize it?
Major General Hoang Son: The new contents articulated in the documents of the 13th National Party Congress on the issues are the developments of the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress. These developments have reflected the flexibility and creativity of the Party in response to the new situation.
Regarding its development strategy, Viettel has so far established business, trade and investment ties with more than 120 partners from 35 countries. Thanks to our widespread business network, we can easily access advanced technologies, seek potential suppliers, build a network of experts and partners, and find high quality human resources. These advantages can help us save time and money when we conduct projects on researching, developing and producing high-quality and high-level technological products.
Over the past years, under the leadership and direction of the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of Defense, as well as Viettel Group’s leaders’ direction, engineers and workers of the Hi-tech Equipment and Weaponry Research and Production Division have researched and produced a number of high-quality defense products. After being commissioned, all Viettel-made equipment and weaponry systems are highly appreciated by military units. Feedback from the users say that Viettel-made equipment and weaponry systems are reliable and convenient for operation, and in accordance with combat conditions in Vietnam. This result has encouraged Viettel’s staff to research and develop more hi-tech defense products on one hand, and built up the confidence of military officers and soldiers in using equipment and weapons produced by Viettel on the other hand.
Reporter: Can you elaborate on the results of Viettel’s implementation of the Party Resolution on development of the defense industry?
Major General Hoang Son: Firstly, Viettel has made the Party, Government, and the Ministry of National Defense more confident that the Vietnamese are able to gradually research and produce hi-tech military equipment and weapons, contributing to protecting the country from afar. The “Made by Viettel” weapons being equipped in the military are the clearest evidence for that argument.
Secondly, in doing so, Viettel has created a new way in the development of hi-tech industry: instead of relying mainly on the State budget, it is possible to mobilize resources from enterprises. Facts also show that instead of waiting for directions and assignments from higher-level authorities, Viettel actively draws up tasks, mechanisms and policies for itself and proposes the higher-level authorities to approve them; instead of relying on technology transfer from foreign partners, Viettel itself invests in research, development and production of hi-tech products. In fact, it is exactly the way that large industrial groups in countries like the US, Russia, China, Israel, and European countries operate .
Thirdly, over the past years, Viettel has researched, developed and produced hi-tech military equipment and weaponry systems for the military, facilitating the modernization process of several military corps and services and contributing to improving national defense capabilities and combat abilities of the Vietnam People’s Army. The group’s efforts have also helped save the national defense budget.
Fourthly, Viettel has gradually built up modern and synchronous research and production infrastructure and strong resources for the development of hi-tech defense industry and national industry.
Fifthly, the group’s branch of hi-tech industry has gradually become a major part of its production and business plans, while significantly contributing to the State budget and the Ministry of Defense’s budget.
Building firm industrial structure
Reporter: What will Viettel do in the future to develop itself as a large group with technologies for civilian and defense purposes?
Major General Hoang Son: According to its future strategy, Viettel aims to become one of the world’s leading defense industry companies. To meet this end, it will continue to develop and produce new generations of military equipment, and smarter, more accurate and more reliable weapons based on the application of core technologies of Industry 4.0, particularly AI, big data and IoT.
Viettel will also develop technologies that can manufacture products for both civilian and military use. Further, it strives to conquer core technologies and have exclusive patents as well as to build a strong industrial infrastructure with modern lab systems and synchronous, professional and well-organized production facilities to meet dual-use production. It will also support the formation of the domestic support industry system.
Another focus of the group is to continuously develop high-quality human resources with specialized experts, highly-qualified engineers and skilled workers. The group’s investment in training personnel will help it successfully realize its development strategy on one hand, and contribute to the development of a well-trained workforce for the national defense industry and the domestic labor market as a whole.
Reporter: What policy does Viettel have to develop its workforce?
Major General Hoang Son: Viettel always focuses on building the capacity of its cadres and officers. It frequently organizes internal training and retraining courses for its staff and creates favorable conditions for young talented people to take higher responsibilities and get more work experience.
Over the past years, the group has pursued several policies to attract excellent personnel, to give privileges to talented, dedicated staff, and to support workers in need. Additionally, it tries to build a good working environment, and creates more career opportunities for young people.
Reporter: Can you name some major contributions of the group to the modernization of the military as well as to national socio-economic development?
Major General Hoang Son: The group has reached all production and business targets over the past years. It has grown fast in both production and business scales as well as in both revenue and profit, contributing 37 trillion dongs to the State’s budget.
In recent times, the group has contributed importantly to national digital transformation, digital government projects, smart city models, digital economy building and digital society building. Viettel also leads in applying Big Data and advanced technologies of Industry 4.0 as well as innovating modern management models and providing technological solutions and services for other enterprises.
Its overseas investment activities have been another success of Viettel over the past years. It gains annual growth in revenue and profit. Take 2020 as an example, while the revenues of its overseas investment projects grew by 19%, the profit increased 25%. Last year, the group brought home some US$ 333 million from the foreign markets it invests in.
To realize its commitment to the Party and State, since the beginning of 2021, it has tested 5G networks with Viettel-made equipment in a number of places in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Reporter: Thank you.
Translated by Thu Nguyen