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HCM City policies to attract scientists not attractive, admits top science official

Update: December, 17/2020 - 07:45


The director of the HCM City Department of Science and Technology, Nguyễn Việt Dũng. — VNS Photo Gia Lộc

Director of the HCM City Department of Science and Technology, Nguyễn Việt Dũng, speaks to Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper about policies for attracting scientists.

What are new in these policies?  

On July 4, 2019, the city People's Committee issued Decision No. 17/2019/QD-UBND to promulgate the policy on attracting and developing experts, scientists and special talents in fields in which the city needs them in 2019-21.

On November 9 this year it issued Decision No. 4116 / QD-UBND related to the process of attracting and selecting experts, scientists and special talents.

The process has been widely adopted in the city’s offices. Instructions and regulations about the detailed time and steps in the implementation have been issued.

The city needs 14 experts and scientists for its Department of Planning and Investment, Hi-Tech Agricultural Park, Saigon Hi-tech Park, and Institute for Computational Science and Technology.   

How did the city attract experts and scientists in the past?

From 2014 to 2019 the city attracted 19 experts, including five Vietnamese, six foreign experts and eight overseas Vietnamese, to work in high-tech state research establishments.

For example, the Institute of Computational Science and Technology invited six overseas Vietnamese experts. The Biotechnology Center of HCM attracted four experts for scientific research and human resource training, five foreign experts and one Vietnamese to help establish the Vietnam-Japan Technology Transfer Research Center at the Saigon Hi-tech Park and carried out human resource development programmes with Daegu University of South Korea.

Were the city’s policies for attracting experts and scientists not effective in the past?

The policies have not worked as effectively as expected. The number of experts and scientists at public establishments is limited, and they are working in several fields of research. The city has many other fields that still need highly skilled human resources.  

The city’s preferential policies on income are not attractive for young technocrats and only attract senior ones. When experts work in public research establishments, their leadership skills are not been fully utilised.  

According to Decision No.17, experts and scientists get an initial allowance of VNĐ100 million (US$4,300) when they first sign a contract. 

They also receive an additional allowance of 1 per cent of the investment the city makes in their approved work, research project or technical solution.  

The low monthly allowance is not attractive either.

Of course, for many scientists and experts, money is not an issue and they work in public establishments because they want to contribute to the city’s development.

How does the city address these obstacles?

Attracting experts and scientists is a long-term issue and cannot be done in a few months or a year. The working environment is very important for them. The city should continue to create a more suitable working and research environment.

Moreover, relevant agencies should work together to carry out the processes and administrative procedures involved in attracting experts and scientists. — VNS

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