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Greater investment advocated for research and development

Update: September, 24/2012 - 09:58

HA NOI (VNS)— International assistance and private sector investment must be more effectively promoted in research and development, senior officials and top scientists said on Saturday in testimony before the National Assembly's Committee of Science, Technology and Environment.

The meeting, attended by policymakers and top scientists and researchers, focused on systems for financing science and technology.

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Nghiem Vu Khai said that an allocation of 2 per cent of the State Budget for these purposes was not insignificant compared to many other countries. However, private investment was significantly less than in neighbouring states, he said.

"It is important to mobilise more resources from society and take full advantage of both State and non-State funding from enterprises, organisations and individuals for technology development," Khai said.

Although enterprises were allowed to reinvest 10 per cent of their profits tax free in research and development, this has not been enough to encourage small- and medium-sized enterprises, said Le Hoai Quoc, head of the HCM City High-Tech Zone management board. "Only a few enterprises allot funds for research, and those that do are mostly changing labelling and packing."

Scientists, meanwhile, complained about disbursement procedures for research, which they called complicated and time-consuming.

Members of the National Assembly committee said the Government needed to clearly define fields of priority for investment and mobilise strong research groups and international co-operation. As the manager of 45 per cent of the State budget for scientific and technological development, the Ministry of Planning and Investment also needed to define its own responsibility, since the ministry currently allowed several local governments to use scientific funds improperly, they said.

Nguyen Tan Tai, former head of Da Lat University's public development department, said investment at local levels needed to focus on key industrial advantages of each area. The country's current spending on science and technology had failed to produce benefits and waste of financial resources was still common. — VNS

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