HCM City aims to be startup urban centre

Ho Chi Minh City is striving to become Vietnam’s startup urban centre with the establishment of 500,000 enterprises through 2020.
A corner of Ho Chi Minh City (Source: VNA)
A corner of Ho Chi Minh City (Source: VNA)

The city has focused on activities to develop a startup ecosystem under a programme which supports small and medium-sized enterprises to enhance competitive capacity and global integration. The programme’s core goal is to encourage innovative startups via scientific research development.

Aslam Perwaiz, Head of Disaster Risk Management System, Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre, described HCM City as the “business capital” of Vietnam. He also lauded the improvement of the city’s public infrastructure service.

An article of the Singapore-based Channel News Asia noted Vietnam’s largest and most progressive city, HCM City is the engine of the country’s growth, at a growth rate of 8.5 percent a year. The city is also viewed as the epicentre of the start-up scene in Vietnam, where most of the country’s 3,000 start-ups operate. 

As an effort to realise the target, the Saigon Innovation Hub (SiHub) was inaugurated on August last year, creating a co-working space to support the development of the local startup community.

In addition, HCM City will build an industrial zone for new businesses, including startups, and aid firms with business registration procedures.

The city has drafted specific measures to create favourable conditions for businesses, including simplifying administrative procedures, setting up hotlines to receive feedback from companies and help them resolve their difficulties in a timely manner and developing programmes to provide information about support policies.

In the first five months of 2017, the city had 309,138 businesses, 89.25 percent of them micro small, 4.3 percent small, 5 percent medium-sized and 1.37 percent large.