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<p>In 1993, a Vietnamese national IT policy was signed into law, but its slow implementation reflects underlying problems of inadequate funding and organization, low IT usage, virtually no software industry, a weak telecommunications infrastructure, and widening disparities between urban and rural areas. Two fundamental goals of the policy are to apply advanced IT achievements to improve activities in all socioeconomic sectors of the country, and to develop IT as an independent segment of the economy--an IT industry. Public education is the main factor affecting future IT development. A critical mass of middle-level practitioners with expertise in user requirements, systems analysis and design, and software engineering does not exist. Moreover, better wages, work environments, and information access in the more industrialized countries have exacerbated a serious brain drain for Vietnam, a loss only recently stemmed by improving economic prospects at home. Like IT generally, e-mail and the Internet in Vietnam currently benefit only a privileged few. It remains to be seen whether the trickle-down effect of the national IT policy will gradually bring IT to a society where a telephone at home, though no longer a rarity, is still a luxury. </p>

J. Do, S. E. Goodman and P. D. Dieu, "Vietnam: Information Technology for the Transition," in Computer, vol. 29, no. , pp. 88-94, 1996.
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