Science, Technology key force for economic growth: HCMC Party Chief

Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Dinh La Thang yesterday morning worked with the management board of the Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP), prompting the park and related agencies to remedy limitations for science and technology to become the motive force in boosting economic growth.

Secretary of HCMC Party Committee Dinh La Thang states at the meeting with SHTP on March 3 (Photo: SGGP)

In the report to the secretary, Head of SHTP Dr. Le Hoai Quoc said the park is focusing on four major fields namely information technology, mechanics-automation, biotechnology, new materials and renewable energy.
So far, 92 projects have been licensed at the park with a total registered capital of US$5.4 billion. Of these there are 36 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with a total fund of over US$4.3 billion, accounting for 48 percent of total FDI capital to the city.
For the last 13 years, the city’s budget has invested VND7.5 trillion in the park. One dong from the budget has lured 15 dongs from investor. A worker of SHTP creates the labor productivity value 9.8 fold that by a worker of industrial parks and export processing zones in the city.
SHTP has set a target to become a multifunctional hi-tech economic zone in the phase 2016-2020, contributing in changing the city’s economic model from width into depth. Infrastructure system would basically be completed to connect the entire zone towards modern and effective directions to turn into a smart science and technology urban area.
Mr. Thang said that after 13 years FDI rate in SHTP was still low and inappropriate with the ‘locomotive’ role of the city’s economic growth.
He asked the city People's Committee and SHTP to re-estimate the proportion target of SHTP to the city’s GDRP and the quality of investment promotion activities.
The secretary wondered why science and technology has yet to become a socioeconomic development’s driving force in an economic hub like Ho Chi Minh City.

Which mechanisms need to be built to make science and technology the driving force, he asked.
In response, Dr. Le Hoai Quoc said that at present policies and incentives on investment attraction are slightly like each other for SHTP and other localities in the country, which have been unattractive to investors.
On the other side, Director of the Department of Science and Technology Nguyen Viet Dung said that HCMC spends over 2 percent total budget on science and technology. Of that number, 80 percent has been used for infrastructure development and only 7 percent for scientific research.
Mr. Thang asked related sides to make proposals for the city to have suitable budget spending ratio in this field.
If the ratio is 2 percent, at least 50-60 percent of that should be spent on science and technology study, transfer and application, he suggested.

Secretary Dinh La Thang visits a production line of Nidec Sankyo Vietnam Company (Photo: SGGP)

SHTP and related agencies should show their determination to create a breakthrough in science and technology development and take actions with specific norms not idle words, he instructed.
In the upcoming time, they should repair limitations to make science and technology a driving force for the city’s socioeconomic development and economic growth, review and adjust plans and strategies with visions till 2030 and 2050, build mechanisms for the development of science and technology and SHTP also.
From which they can create the attraction and spread not only in the city but also the southern region and the country, he said.
To practice that, he proposed to attach study with practice by changing mechanisms, focus on creating products instead of spread investment, intensify the connectivity between scientists and schools and institutes and assist businesses to renovate technologies and improve their product quality.
After the meeting at SHTP, Mr. Thang visited two FDI companies Nidec Sankyo Vietnam and Samsung CE Complex.
HCMC is always willing to create advantageous conditions for Samsung Group to build its plant and operate items of the second phase on schedule.
Mr. Thang required SHTP and the city People’s Committee to soon consider, handle and respond to suggestions by the group's leaders within one month. Whereby they can help Samsung concentrate on production and trading development to become a model on the tight and effective cooperation between South Korea and Vietnam.

By Nguyen Tuong – Translated by Hai Mien

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