Representatives of cooperatives and groups of ethnic minority women gathered at a workshop on December 17 to discuss using technology of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 for business and poverty reduction.
Applying information technology in production and consumption would help improve the businesses of ethnic minorities, contributing to economic development and poverty reduction, said Deputy Minister of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs Le Van Thanh.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) this year has provided technical assistance to help implement a project 'Support for ethnic minority women in poverty reduction and economic empowerment via application of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 technology' in northern mountainous Bac Kan province and the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong on a trial basis.
Through the project, ethnic minority groups, particularly ethnic minority women and their business partners, investors, scientists and policy makers have chances to connect.
The 4M initiative (Meet, Match, Mentor and Move) implemented under the project has enabled 784 people, primarily ethnic minority women, to start up, get involved or expand commodity production and markets, connect with other businesses, promote markets and sell their products with technology.
Besides, more than 2,636 people participating in the project received benefits in the product supply chain through co-operatives, production groups and organisations in the two provinces.
“This approach is new, in line with the Government's Industrial Revolution 4.0 programme, in order to achieve the goal of creating opportunities for poor people and ethnic minorities to participate in production, improve the value of products and businesses, increase income, and sustainably accelerate poverty reduction,” Thanh said.
The lessons learned at the workshop were essential for other localities as well as for the ministry in designing poverty reduction programmes, he added.
UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen said: “Ethnic minority women and men are highly innovative and have great entrepreneurship skills. New technologies such as e-commerce, e-payments, smartphones and internet offer great development opportunities for ethnic minorities to expand their marketing and business reach.”
“Bringing together ethnic minority entrepreneurs with businesses, government officials and experts in a multi-stakeholder platform of inclusive innovation can make a significant difference and accelerate poverty reduction results," she said.
Participants also proposed solutions for expanding the model of 'Linking production and business to indigenous product chains with application of e-commerce platform'.
This model is suitable for poor households and ethnic minorities in association with traditional methods and indigenous culture effectively and sustainably applied in other localities such as Lao Cai, Son La, Ha Giang, Hoa Binh, Da Nang and Kon Tum.