Nguyễn Thành Phong (C), chairman of the city People’s Committee, speaks at the seminar to review the city’s investment stimulus programme in HCM City on Thursday. — VNS Photo
HCM CITY — It has been a remarkable transformation for HCM City’s People's Hospital 115 which recently became the first medical facility in the country to successfully carry out a robotically-assisted brain tumour surgery.
Thirty years ago, its only piece of equipment had been an x-ray machine.
It currently gets 3,000 to 4,000 patients a day and provides emergency aid to over 400 of others, and was one of the city's first stroke treatment centres, Dr Phan Văn Báu, its director, said.
An investment stimulus programme carried out by the city had enabled the hospital to acquire the most advanced technologies and equipment with loans under the programme, he said.
Tiến Tuấn Pharmaceutical Machinery Co Ltd was another to benefit from the programme.
A company spokesperson said it had got an interest-free loan of VNĐ45 billion ($1.93 million) for building a factory and buying advanced equipment to expand production.
This enabled it to expand from having 40 workers and revenues of VNĐ40 billion (US$1.72 million) a year to 200 employees and revenues of nearly VNĐ200 billion ($8.6 million), he said.
It is awaiting approval to invest in high-tech metalworking equipment using a loan of VNĐ10.5 billion ($451,800) with interest fully subsidised.
In 2015, the city People’s Committee had begun the programme, with technology, manufacturing, supporting industry, trading, agricultural, healthcare, education and training, culture and sports, infrastructure, and environment companies receiving 50-100 per cent interest rate subsidies on loans of up to VNĐ100 billion ($4.3 million).
Speaking at a meeting held by the city People’s Committee on Thursday to review the programme, delegates said it had significantly stimulated investment in certain sectors, helping shift the city’s economic structure in the right direction and improving its competitiveness.
Trần Anh Tuấn, deputy director of the Department of Planning and Investment, said so far 281 projects costing VNĐ23.78 trillion ($1.02 billion) had received loans of VNĐ11.209 trillion ($483.02 million).
Thanks to the subsidised loans, enterprises had boldly invested in new production technologies and equipment, he said.
Reviewing the impact of the programme on the city’s supporting industries, Nguyễn Phương Đông, deputy director of the Department of Industry and Trade, said the programme had encouraged businesses to invest in sectors targeted by the city such as mechanical engineering, chemicals, plastic, rubber, food and foodstuff, electronics, IT, textiles, and footwear.
However, delegates at the meeting complained about complicated procedures enterprises have to complete to benefit from the programme. This loses them market opportunities, making them hesitant about participating in the programme.
Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the city People’s Committee, said the investment stimulus programme, unique in the country, had achieved positive results.
He instructed officials involved in the programme to review and simplify procedures and reduce the time it takes to appraise applications from businesses.
He also instructed the Department of Planning and Investment to advise the city on adding and removing sectors based on the situation on the ground.
The city planned to double the loan amount to VNĐ200 billion for a project, he said.
He ordered relevant agencies and business groups to propagate information about the programme to enable more businesses to benefit. — VNS