|Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and delegates at the festival’s opening ceremony. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang|
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính attended the opening of the national festival for innovative startups TECHFEST and Week for Hồ Chí Minh City Innovation, Startup and Entrepreneurship WHISE 2021 via videoconference in Hà Nội on December 14.
The opening ceremony was held both online and offline in 63 cities and provinces, and over 20 countries worldwide.
The TECHFEST-WHISE 2021 was co-organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the HCM City People’s Committee and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, featuring over 20 activities.
In his speech, PM Chính hailed achievements in innovation this year, which helped bring Việt Nam to the 44th place out of 132 countries and economies in terms of global innovation, and the first position among 34 middle-income countries.
He stressed that all sectors, localities, businesses and people must make efforts for innovation and creativity for the sake of national interests.
In the immediate future, innovation efforts should focus on the fight against COVID-19, economic recovery and development, as well as emerging issues such as climate change, exhaustion of natural resources, aging population, non-traditional security issues, green growth, digital transformation, and those in health care, education, agriculture and poverty reduction.
He asked ministries and agencies to continue fine-tuning mechanisms and attracting resources for innovation and startups, particularly financial resources from investors, professional investment funds, international organisations and the community.
Minister of Science and Technology Huỳnh Thành Đạt, for his part, said over US$1.3 billion was poured into Vietnamese start-ups this year, a record figure despite the pandemic. Over 140 universities and colleges nationwide also launched start-up activities, drawing the attention of major groups as financial investors.
At the event, PM Chính also witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements between the MoST and several major corporations and groups. — VNS