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Plan to have 5,000 sci-tech firms may be unattainable

Under its science and technology development strategy, Vietnam would have 5,000 science and technology firms by 2020, including 2,000 in HCMC.

At a recent conference, after hearing a presentation by an official of the HCM City Department of Science and Technology about policies on research and industrial development, a representative of a business said the "policies sound very attractive, but it is difficult to approach the incentives.”

 

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To be able to access support packages, businesses must be classified as science & technology firms. However, without capital and policy, businesses cannot be upgraded into science & technology firms.

Under current regulations, science & technology firms are businesses which carry out production of goods and services formed from scientific research.

To be able to access support packages, businesses must be classified as science & technology firms. However, without capital and policy, businesses cannot be upgraded into science & technology firms.

To be recognized as science & technology firms, businesses have to satisfy many requirements and submit dossiers to the department for approval.

However, as deputy director of the HCM City Science & Technology Department Nguyen Ky Phung, said businesses are required to provide many documents beyond the dossiers.

It is foreseeable that the goal of having 5,000 science and technology firms by 2020 will not be reached. To date, Vietnam has only 400 businesses of this kind, including 76 businesses in HCM City.

In an effort to improve the situation, the government last March promulgated Decree 13 with new regulations to simplify administrative procedures, offering more incentives to businesses.

The newly released decree stipulates that businesses in all fields can register as science & technology firms to enjoy preferences.

The conditions for enjoying tax incentives were relaxed: businesses only need to have 30 percent of total revenue coming from products created on the basis of scientific research, instead of 70 percent as required previously.

The new decree also stipulates that science & technology firms can enjoy corporate income tax exemption for the first four years of operation and 50 percent tax reduction in the next nine years.

The tax incentives for the first 13 years are believed to be attractive to technology startups, because fledgling businesses need great support in their first phase of operation.

Phi Anh Tuan, deputy chair of the HCM City Information Technology Association, commented that it is understandable why a high number of tech firms have been created recently: the qualifications of the Vietnamese labor force are increasing significantly, while opportunities are everywhere.

Mai Lan  

 

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