HCMC leaders, businesses seek ways to build “startup city”

Ho Chi Minh City leaders and businesses discussed measures to develop the city into a startup city, obtain the target to have 500,000 enterprises by 2020 and improve business quality and competitiveness at a conference yesterday.

A view of the conference (photo: SGGP)

The conference was held to debate implementation plan of the Government’s resolution 35 on business development. It was attended Secretary of HCMC Party Committee Dinh La Thang, chairman of the People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong, agency and district leaders.

According to targets set in the resolution, Vietnam will have one million businesses by 2020. HCMC has set its goal to have 500,000 businesses with enterprises playing motive forces and being capable to compete in the world market by 2020.

Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said that HCMC now has 270,000 companies listed in the registering books, however, tax agencies reported that only 170,000 are in operation.

HCMC is the country’s commercial hub which is forecast to have over 12 million citizens by 2020. Therefore, it has set the target to have 500,000 businesses.

However he expressed concern about a roadmap which should be drawn up to develop large firms who can affirm their brand names in the global market.

Asserting that city leaders will give utmost assistance to businesses, chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong required firms to restructure their financial ability; renew technologies, management and human resources to improve their competitiveness.

The city will boost business development, focusing on leading enterprises, establish a one trillion fund to assist small and medium enterprises, startups and technology renewal, he revealed.

At present, HCMC has provided many capital sources in order to help businesses access with low interest rates, said Mr. Phong.

However, Chairman of the Plastics and Rubber Association Nguyen Quoc Anh said it is difficult for HCMC to obtain the target because the city has two million households so the target of 500,000 businesses in the city means one business per four households.

Handicraft products made of crocodile skin at an establishment in HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

Hence, the city should not set goals on the number of businesses but assist existing enterprises to improve competitiveness, assist them to access land fund and low interest loans and develop production and supply chains, he said.

In addition, policies and regulations on export-import and tax refund should be stable to set businesses’ mind at rest, he suggested.

Sharing the same view, chairman of the Business Association in Industrial Parks Nguyen Van Be said that businesses need premises, capital and technologies but the thing they need most is a good business environment.

Authorized agencies should remove unnecessary sub-licenses and certificates. For instance, business registration is easy now but business conditions are complicated.

Secretary Dinh La Thang said that HCMC will be capable to obtain the target to have 500,000 businesses by 2020 if determining to do that. However he urged responsible agencies to improve business quality.
 
City leaders are always willing to share difficulties with businesses, accompany and serve them unconditionally to develop, he pledged.

The city has aimed at raising citizen satisfaction with civil services and creating inter-administration among state agencies. In addition, 100 percent districts and agencies will launch hotlines to receive information from businesses and citizens, continue streamlining procedures and improving their service.

Deputy chairman of the People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen said that the city has built a project on an inter-agency public administration center for businesses and citizens to do procedures and receive results at the same place to cut short their travel time and reduce paper costs.

By Han Ni – Translated by Hai Mien

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Head of the Department of Propaganda and Training of the HCMC Party Committee, Than Thi Thu (L) meets head of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee's Commission for Propaganda and Training, Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune. (Photo: Sggp)

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