90% of foreign firms in hi-tech park forgo R&D

By Ha An   September 10, 2022 | 06:31 am PT
90% of foreign firms in hi-tech park forgo R&D
A mainboard R&D lab in Saigon Hi-Tech Park in 2017. Photo by Luc Vu
Up to 90% of foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises in a Ho Chi Minh City-based hi-tech Park have not invested in research and development (R&D), said a local expert.

Most FDI firms in Saigon Hi-Tech Park have made use of preferential treatment in terms of land and labor to produce, package and export products, Le Hoai Quoc, president of HCMC Automation Association, said Friday at a talk on orienting the park’s development.

Paying undue attention to R&D, the firms have created little added value from the activity in the park, he stated, proposing that they be forced to conduct R&D according to their revenues.

"If they (FDI enterprises in Saigon Hi-Tech Park) do not commit to this, we can consider cutting preferential treatment," he said.

He proposed the park intensifies innovation and R&D to churn out added value, hi-tech products.

Nguyen Anh Thi, head of the park’s management board, said that in the coming time, when licensing investment in the park, relevant authorities will ask firms to pledge to R&D. "When enterprises do not comply with their commitment, we will propose cutting tax preferential treatment," he added.

Tran Viet Anh, chairman of HCMC-based Nam Thai Son Company, proposed that simplified administrative procedures and preferential treatment be given to domestic enterprises, and that municipal authorities deploy specific strategies on spearheading hi-tech products.

Saigon Hi-Tech Park in HCMC in 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

Saigon Hi-Tech Park in HCMC in 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

After 20 years of operation, Saigon Hi-Tech Park has attracted 160 projects, with 70 involved in production, 19 in services, 19 in R&D, and 23 in auxiliary industry. The park has hosted 51 FDI project, including Intel, Samsung, Nidec and Datalogic with combined investment exceeding $10.1 billion.

Firms in the park achieved export turnovers of $20.9 billion in 2021, accounting for 52% of HCMC’s total exports. They have targeted export turnovers of $23 billion this year.

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