Talking at the Ho Chi Minh City Economic Forum 2018 (HEF 2018) opened on November 23 in Ho Chi Minh City, Secreatry of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan confirmed that the city would do its best to support enterprises to play a key role in the development of the city’s innovative urban area.
Along with that, administrative reforms will be accelerated, ensuring a good investment environment, clear and transparent legal framework for enterprises, and improving local authorities to be able to meet the requirements of enterprises.
Organised by the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee in collaboration with the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Business Association, and the Ho Chi Minh City External Affairs Department, the HEF 2018 focused on a variety of issues, including the Fourth Industrial Revolution, smart city development trends, the role of innovative areas in fostering economic and social development, and the role of the enterprises in building up innovative areas in Ho Chi Minh City.
Especially, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee introduced its plan to develop the eastern area of Ho Chi Minh City into an innovative area by attracting more investment.
This was the first time Ho Chi Minh City held this forum to highlight the role of the enterprises in building-up innovative areas and look for innovations that can connect state bodies, enterprises, scientific experts, and investors to create further innovation.
The forum also mobilised a wide range of stakeholders, especially enterprises to develop Ho Chi Minh City into an innovative city.
To set up an innovative city, Nhan said, the city has to find ways to connect the three most important factors: technological area, urban area, and education bases such as universities and research institutes.
Meanwhile, Dr Emmanuel San Andres, urban development expert from the APEC’s Policy Supporting Unit, said that Ho Chi Minh City should look for suitable partners, including policymakers, government staff, private enterprises, and human resources.
According to Dr Ahmad Magard, general secretary of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation, Vietnam still lacks talented human resources to create a true innovative area.
“Vietnam, therefore must focus on training and improving the capacity of its human resources to meet the city’s increasing demand,” Magard said.
The local authorities, meanwhile, Magard added, must create more incentives for private education institutions and universities to improve their training capacity.
Ho Chi Minh City has been implementing its plan to develop itself into a smart city in 2017-2020. Key projects of this plan include building an innovative urban area in District 9, one in Thu Duc district, and two more in the eastern area of the city based on the foundations of digital economy and knowledge-based economy.
Being the biggest economic hub of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City contributes 23 per cent of Vietnam’s GDP, 30 per cent of the state budget, 16 per cent of the industrial output, 15 per cent of the export turnover, and 32 per cent of the whole country’s enterprises.