Monopoly worries IT businesses

The Investment and Trade Promotion Center of Ho Chi Minh City (ITPC) and the city’s Department of Information and Communications on September 18 jointly organized a discussion session between Information & Communications Technology (ICT) businesses and the municipal authorities.

Software programmers work in Quang Trung Software City. Photo by Viet Dung

Software programmers work in Quang Trung Software City. Photo by Viet Dung

The current reports show that in the past few years, HCMC has led the nation in economic transfer thanks to its high-tech products. ICT has become one of the four key industries as well as the nine priorities of the city, with an impressive development rate of 16.5 percent in the last 5 years. It accounts for over 17 percent of the national output.

Yet, many delegates voiced their concern in the meeting, saying that there still exists monopoly and inequality between giant enterprises and their smaller counterparts.

 

According to Mr. Tran Anh Tuan, Vice President of the HCMC Computer Association, it is necessary that in the development of the startup ecosystems, major ICT businesses become the sound footing for these new companies via their investment, partnership, and customer relationship.

 

However, many current policies on ordering high-tech products for the construction of smart cities seem to encourage monopoly since they prioritize large ICT enterprises like VNPT, Viettel, FPT Group.

 

Even though smaller companies are able to develop better products, they are not given any chance to participate because there is no clear public information on how to receive orders or what kind of products to meet the needs of local authorities in each area.

 

Mr. Ngo Vi Dong, President of the Vietnam Information Security Association – Southern Branch, shared that all ICT businesses, especially startup or small ones, wish to contribute to the 7 breakthrough programs and the project of transforming HCMC into a smart city.

 

Mr. Nguyen Xuan Hien, CEO of Ingreetech Co., Ltd. said that monopoly happens only in major projects but also in minor ones like public shopping in district level, which are not publicly bid. Since these applications are not new and nearly become outdated, investing into them is a clear waste of time and money.

 

Responding to those feedbacks, Vice Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen confirmed that the city determines to successfully finish the project of building a smart urban area in order to tackle current problems and increase interaction with businesses as well as citizens. Therefore, the municipal authorities are hopefully waiting for innovative products from ICT enterprises.

 

HCMC also assures that there is no monopoly in its mechanism and welcomes all products from all businesses. It will also work with giant groups of major utilities industries like electricity and water to introduce these works.

By BA TAN – Translated by Vien Hong

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