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HCMC eyes spot as Southeast Asia startup hub

By Dat Nguyen   March 21, 2021 | 03:53 pm PT
HCMC eyes spot as Southeast Asia startup hub
Entrepreneurs gather at a startup event in Ho Chi Minh City in December 2020. Photo by VnExpress.
HCMC has approved a plan to foster 1,000 startup projects by 2025 as part of efforts to become a Southeast Asian innovation hub.

It plans to enable 3,000 businesses to improve their innovation capacity and help 100 access venture capital.

The city aims to achieve these targets by developing an infrastructure and ecosystem that will help startups enhance their productivity, develop higher-quality products and go international.

In 2016-2020, it helped 650-700 businesses a year to improve their innovation capacity.

Last year, Vietnam moved up 13 places to 59th out of 100 economies with the best startup ecosystems in a ranking by StartupBlink, a global comprehensive startup ecosystem map and research center.

In the first half of last year, Vietnam accounted for 16 percent of the total investment in tech startups in Southeast Asia to rank third behind only Singapore (37 percent) and Indonesia (30 percent), according to Ho Chi Minh City-based venture capital firm Do Ventures.

Robert Tran, CEO of consulting firm RBNC for North America and Asia Pacific, said Vietnam has the potential to become a startup hub thanks to a large number of good entrepreneurship ideas that could be expanded globally.

The country has a population large enough for startups to experiment locally first before branching out internationally, he told local media.

The success rate of startups is however only around 3 percent as many of them are not able to clearly identify their business goals, he said.

Vietnam needs to perfect its legal framework to ensure protection for investors and provide more practical assistance to startups, he added.

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