Ho Chi Minh City boosts knowledge-based economy

Thursday, 2021-01-28 09:52:04
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A modern nano lab at the Vietnam National University - Ho Chi Minh City branch. (Photo: NDO)
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NDO – Ho Chi Minh City has determined the importance of developing a knowledge-based economy in its development orientation and strategy, according to the city’s chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong.

Phong, who is also a member of the Party Central Committee, the deputy secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee and chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, stated that knowledge economy has become the common development trend of the world economy, which has been chosen by many countries as a top development strategy, including the US, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Australia and Western European countries, where knowledge-based industries contribute more than 40% of GDP.

Delivering his report at the ongoing 13th National Party Congress, Phong pointed to both international experience in knowledge economy development and the practical situation from Ho Chi Minh City.

The official noted that in developed countries, the decisions on knowledge economy aimed at creating breakthroughs are focused on the following factors:

(1) Identifying the importance of human capital as a primary resource for economic development, emphasising lifelong learning, prioritising investment in education and training, and creating an effective connection environment between higher education institutions and businesses.

(2) Implementing outstanding policies to attract skilled workers and the talented at home and abroad into all sectors of the economy, including the public sector.

(3) Attaching importance to developing science - technology, smart cities and digital economy, while paying attention to investment in science - technology, and promoting innovation in various fields.

(4) Constantly reforming and innovating to ensure the leading and managerial role of the State over the economy.

(5) Focusing on developing a start-up ecosystem and spreading the start-up spirit, in which the Government plays a central role, supporting the start-up ecosystem to create the best conditions for start-ups, and paying attention to developing tech corporations into pillars of the national economy.

For Ho Chi Minh City, the southern economic hub has always determined the importance of developing a knowledge-based economy in its development orientation and strategy, according to Phong. He informed that the city has effectively exploited the advantages of a special city and a large economic, cultural, educational, and scientific and technological centre in the development of knowledge economy to form the foundations of knowledge economy, including a large contingent of intellectuals, smart cities, hi-tech parks, creative start-up centres, large technology corporations, research and development centres, and public IT infrastructure based on the 5G network platform. On that basis, the city has gradually shifted its economic structure towards increasing knowledge content, focusing on developing hi-tech industries and participating in the global value chain.

Nguyen Thanh Phong, Member of the Party Central Committee, Deputy Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee, Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee. (Photo: NDO)

The city has established the Quang Trung Software Park Chain, along with the city’s Hi-Tech Park, the Hi-Tech Agricultural Zone, the AI Incubation Centre, the Science and Technology Park in the Hi-Technology Park and the Institute for Computational Science and Technology. The Hi-Tech Park has attracted 162 projects so far, with total investment of more than US$7.65 billion, with the production value of hi-tech products in 2020 reaching over US$20 billion and the average labour productivity being 20 times higher than the city’s average and more than 60 times the national average.

The city is researching to formulate and develop a planning for a creative urban area in its eastern part associated with the establishment of Thu Duc City. The city has also issued many mechanisms and policies to promote scientific - technology research associated with practical conditions, while perfecting the start-up and innovation ecosystems – where there is the connection among schools, research institutes and enterprises, while also having the role of government in providing venture capital investment to start-up projects.

The city also constantly improves the effectiveness and efficiency of its government apparatus, towards building a dynamic public administration, while focusing on improving the city's capacity to forecast and respond to policies to perfect mechanisms and policies to manage and develop the knowledge economy and digital economy in the new development conditions, combined with improving the capacity of officials, civil servants and public employees to meet the requirements of the management and development of knowledge economy.

To boost its knowledge economy, the city proposes seven key groups of solutions, with the first is reforming mechanisms and policies to create a new legal framework suitable for the development of the knowledge economy. It is necessary to develop a knowledge economy development strategy for the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2045, in which the strategy needs to accurately assess the current situation, clearly define the viewpoint of developing the knowledge economy, and specify models, goals, breakthroughs and orientation for the development of knowledge economy, while effectively implementing the proposed contents. In the strategy, it is necessary to define and implement the appropriate routes and solutions, in which clearly identify the breakthroughs.

Second, strongly developing a source of hi-quality labour, improving people's knowledge and training talents, as well as concentrating investment in education development and reform, transferring foreign advanced training programmes, and quickly increasing the training of a contingent of scientific and technical staff, skilled workers, managers and entrepreneurs.

Thirdly, strengthening the national science and technology capacity to absorb, master and creatively apply the latest scientific and technological knowledge of the world necessary for the development of the country, while gradually creating the country's specific technologies and building an advanced science - technology in Vietnam.

Fourthly, increasing investment in developing IT infrastructure, promoting the application and development of IT in service of industrialisation and modernisation. In particular, in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic still developing complicatedly in the world, new industries and fields related to digital transformation are emerging, offering both opportunities and pressure to the country to strongly develop the digital economy in the near future.

Fifthly, promulgating mechanisms and policies to perfect the start-up ecosystem, while providing support to and encouraging enterprises to invest in science, technology and innovation. Mechanisms and policies must genuinely encourage but at the same time create a requirement for businesses to always innovate based on new technologies and accelerate the birth of new businesses, especially those with new products and new technologies, in which the key is the strong reform of administrative procedures to create favourable conditions for the people and businesses.

Sixthly, incessantly reforming and innovating to ensure the leading and management role of the State for the economy. There should be a specific mechanism for hi-tech parks and software parks to promote their roles as innovation centres. On that basis, gradually shifting the economic structure towards increasing knowledge content, focusing on developing hi-tech industries and participating in the global value chain, as well as gradually escaping the middle-income trap.

Seventhly, proactively integrating into the world in order to take advantage of external resources in combination with internal resources to catch up with the trend of developing advanced science - technology, thus serving the goal of modernising production forces for the country.