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HCM City seeks resources for start-up ecosystem

VIETNAM, May 7 -  

HCM City’s Department of Science and Technology and Green+ Group signed a five year (2022-2026) cooperation agreement on April 29, promoting the city’s innovation start-up ecosystem. — VNS Photo Nguyễn Diệp

HCM CITY — The HCM City Department of Science and Technology is looking to attract more resources, especially from the business community, to foster innovation and develop its start-up ecosystem.

It is committed to creating favourable conditions towards making this happen, according to department director Nguyễn Việt Dũng.

He said the department looked forward to greater participation and support from businesses, organisations and agencies.

On April 29, the department signed a five-year (2022-2026) cooperation agreement with the Green Plus (Green+) Group to promote the development of the city’s innovative start-up ecosystem.

The Green+ Group, formerly known as Green Herbs Investment JSC, established in 2016, initially operated in manufacturing and distributing pharmaceutical and herbal products.

Since 2021, the company has expanded to other fields, including real estate and retail pharmacy.

It aims to become a large financial investment corporation in securities, real estate, pharmaceuticals and supplement products.

Under the agreement, the two parties will mobilise businesses, organisations and individuals to participate in annual events like innovation, Start-up and Entrepreneurship Week, and Innovation and Start-up Awards.

They aim to create a sustainable and effective ecosystem, spreading the innovation and startup spirit across all fields of social life.

They will also coordinate with other businesses on incubation and acceleration support for start-ups.

Đặng Đức Thành, Green + Chairman, said the development of the city’s innovative start-up ecosystem was of great practical value, and the partners were committed to offering the best support for start-ups in the near future.

He has officially launched a charity fund called “For Quality of Life” that carries out eight projects.

Among them, one worth VNĐ30 billion (US$1.3 million) on improving the physical condition of Vietnamese people will be implemented in 2022-2025.

It aims to provide comprehensive healthcare for 1,000 students at five schools in HCM City and Bến Tre Province.

Enhancing competitiveness

The municipal People's Committee has approved a five-year programme to support an innovation start-up ecosystem, Dũng said.

By 2025, the programme seeks to have 100 start-ups gaining access to venture capital and 1,000 getting support from authorities, developing an ecosystem that can compete with other Southeast Asia.

Twenty-two projects under the scheme overseen by the Department of Science and Technology will help develop infrastructure and support services, promote innovation in the public sector and improve the capacity of start-ups.

They will also promote international cooperation, support start-ups in developing their products and help small and medium-sized businesses improve productivity.

In 2016-2020, the city worked with start-up incubators and universities on over 950 projects, of which 100 successfully solicited needed investment.

StartupBlink, a global start-up ecosystem map and research centre, shows that HCM City entered the list of top 1,000 cities in terms of start-up ecosystems, rising to 225th place in 2020. Việt Nam moved up 13 places to 59th out of 100 countries.

Its Global Innovation Index performance has also been steadily improving, rising from 59th out of 131 economies in 2016 to 42nd in 2019 and 2020. — VNS