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Software Park not pulling its weight, say City councillors

Update: July, 14/2012 - 08:53

 

A view of a high-tech park in District 9, HCM City. Councillors criticised the city for wasting money by investing in another IT park, the Quang Trung Software Park, in District 12 of the city. — VNA/VNS Photo Van Khanh
HCM CITY — Members of the People's Council in HCM City criticised the city yesterday for wasting money by investing in the Quang Trung Software Park in District 12, saying the project has not been cost effective.

Councillor Vo Van Sen said that the park's clients ordered companies to work on raw products, while the finished products were made in other countries. This has limited revenues for the park, he said.

One the final day of a three-day meeting organised by the city's People's Council, Sen said that last year the Sai Gon Hi-Tech Park received more than US$1 billion in revenue while the Quang Trung Software Park earned just $49 million.

He suggested that the city government to reorient the main tasks of the park to producing software instead of performing outsourced work.

The park which was established for more than ten years ago, has recently focussed on training, Sen noted, adding that it was time to "harvest," not carry out pilot projects to find out a model for the city as some senior officials have said.

He suggested the city government comes up with a clear route for developing the park rather than "walk in the dark night."

"The park has not given economic benefits proportionate to the investment in 40 ha of land after 10 years. While we have learnt a valuable lesson from building the software park, it has been an expensive lesson," Sen said.

Deputy Chairman of the HCM City People's Committee Le Manh Ha said that economic benefit was not of key importance in investing in the park. "If we had used the land to invest in real estate development, we would had much (economic) benefit. But without the park, the city would not be in the vanguard information technology development."

"The Quang Trung Software Park is gaining successes though the initial economic benefit is not high," Ha said, adding it's more important that the project played a pioneering role.

He said the investment certificate for the Thu Thiem Software Park has been withdrawn and the Viet Nam – Japan Software Park has not been successful.

Speaking at the fifth meeting of the municipal People's Council's eighth term, Ha proposed the establishment of a Hi-tech Department to ensure effective development of the sector in the city.

Although it was a major target, the field has not been clearly defined and many policy and legal mechanisms have to be fine tuned, he said. The new department would help address these issues with added focus and effectiveness, he said.

Medical waste

On Thursday, the second day of the meeting, city councillors were not satisfied with answers given by Health Department officials on medical waste treatment facilities at hospitals in the city.

The municipal People's Council has asked the health sector to have all the city's hospitals equipped with medical waste treatment systems of required standards before December this year.

However, according to the Health Department, just 60 per cent of hospitals in the city have so far met medical waste treatment standards.

Huynh Van Biet, deputy director of the department, said every day the city released 17,000 cu.m of medical wastewater and about 16,000 cu.m was treated.

However, councillor Tran Trong Dung, who raised the issue said he was more concerned about the quality of the treated water, not the quantity.

The city has 285 clinics and 200 do not have medical wastewater treatment systems, he said. — VNS

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