Viet Nam News
HCM CITY— The HCM City Energy Conservation Centre has launched the Saigon Innovation Hub (SI-HUB) to assist initiatives for innovation and start-up businesses.
It would enable the Department of Science and Technology – which runs the centre -- to provide a public forum for innovation and start-up, Nguyễn Việt Dũng, its director, said.
It would also enable start-ups to benefit from the city’s support policies, he said while speaking at the hub’s opening ceremony last Friday.
In May the Government approved a “National progragramme to support an innovative start-up ecosystem in Việt Nam by the year 2025.”
To implement it, the department has set up a five-year action plan to foster start-ups and innovation supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
SI-HUB will prioritise projects in four of the city’s key industrial sectors: food processing, electronics and information technology, mechanical engineering, and rubber-plastic-pharmaceuticals.
Huỳnh Kim Tước, director of the HCM City Energy Conservation Centre, said SI-HUB would focus on improving the infrastructure for start-ups such as co-working space and introduce them to foreign partners and investors.
It would also offer financial and technological support to start-ups to foster innovation.
Dominic Mellor, head of the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) and a senior economist at the ADB, said SI-HUB would be a catalyst for the city’s development.
The development of private enterprises, particularly small and medium-sized ones and start-ups, is one of the priorities of ADB’s co-operation with Việt Nam in 2016-20, he said.
The launch also witnessed the signing of agreements for co-operative projects within the framework of the MBI and the Vietnam Angel Investor Network (iAngel).
The city administration needs to support enterprises involved in science and technology to enhance their productivity as well as develop the economy, Nguyễn Thiện Nhân, president of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee, said.
The use of high-technology plays a vital role in the success of enterprises, he told a seminar held in HCM City last Saturday.
The city’s labour productivity is three times the country’s average, he said.
The rapidly growing exports and abundant workforce, which is expected to keep growing for the next 30 years, are the two main driving forces for the city’s development, he said.
The start-up movement would help take full advantage of human resource potential and provide jobs for nearly one million job seekers around the country every year, he added.
Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the city People’s Committee, said innovation and science and technology hold the key to increasing labour productivity and competitiveness, lowering product prices and enabling the country to keep pace with developed countries.
The city would provide favorable conditions to foster the establishment and development of companies that exploit intelligent assets, technology and new business models, he said.
The city now has 260,000 companies and it hopes to raise the number to half of a million by 2020. —VNS