Hanoi wants to get in on Vietnam's start-up race

By VnExpress   September 22, 2016 | 12:31 am PT
Hanoi wants to get in on Vietnam's start-up race
Hanoi sunset over West Lake. Photo by VnExpress/Tomas Slavicek/File Photo
The city hopes incentives such as funding, training and simply a place to work will attract more start-ups.

Hanoi, following in Ho Chi Minh City’s footsteps, has announced its intention to be at the forefront of Vietnam’s start-up movement.

The capital aims to double its private companies to 400,000 in the next four years, said Nguyen Van Tu, head of Hanoi’s Investment and Planning Department, on Wednesday at a workshop on start-up ecosystems.

Hanoi is second only to Ho Chi Minh City in terms of overall number of businesses, and they contribute a combined 40 percent of the city's budget revenue, create 67 percent of new jobs and produce 38 percent of its total output, Tu cited official figures as saying.

In order to truly become a start-up hub, Hanoi has to do more than just count the number of businesses.

The city’s policymakers are trying to create more favorable business conditions by simplifying business licensing procedures, said Tu.

He emphasized that business licensing is the key to unlocking the potential for more start-ups.

Hanoi also plans to develop a start-up ecosystem where idea-stage companies can get access to basic amenities such as a work space and broadband internet.

Under the plan, the city will support start-up firms through training, networking, legal advice and funding.

Vietnam’s start-up dream

Vietnamese policymakers are embracing an ambitious plan to turn the country into a start-up nation in the next four years.

Recently, the Vietnamese government approved a package of fresh initiatives aimed at paving the way for the boom in technology start-ups

The goal, said Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, is to have "one million start-up companies by 2020".

To achieve this, the government plans to launch an online portal to keep start-ups updated about new technologies, policies and funding.

Start-ups will even receive financial support from the government for training, product testing and marketing.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment is working on a set of initiatives that will make it easier for foreign venture capital funds to invest in local start-ups.

“We are looking forward to the day the Ministry of Planning and Investment introduces a policy to clear stumbling blocks for foreign venture capitalists, making it easier for them to acquire stakes in start-ups,” said Vo Tran Dinh Hieu, an executive at Dragon Capital Group.

Hieu explained that if investors hold a controlling stake in a start-up, they will be committed for the long term.

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