Overseas Vietnamese seek start-up opportunities

December 14, 2018 | 11:00
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Overseas Vietnamese are contributing to the city’s development more than ever before but still face constraints in the business environment, according to the chairman of the HCM City Committee for Overseas Vietnamese (HCOV).
overseas vietnamese seek start up opportunities
Startups show their products during a meeting in HCM City on December 12. - VNS Photo Ngoc Diep

Speaking at a dialogue on startups held in the city on Wednesday, HCOV Chairman Phung Cong Dung said that young startups could help domestic enterprises use the latest technologies and techniques, but obstacles still exist, mostly concerning the regulatory system, legal framework, support policies and venture capital funds.

“Financial policy is the most important factor that could improve business conditions for start-ups and help the startup community grow quickly,” Dung said.

Nguyen Hoanh Nam, deputy head of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the country has a dynamic business environment, with GDP growth reaching over 6 per cent each year.

In addition, start-up ecosystems, investment promotion activities and favourable living conditions create good opportunities for overseas Vietnamese businesspeople to become more confident in investing in or starting a business in Vietnam, he added.

An overseas Vietnamese from Singapore, Vo Thanh Dang of HCM City, said that startups could begin their business in Vietnam before reaching out to the world.

Another overseas Vietnamese, Tran Ngoc Phu, of France, is now seeking an opportunity to invest in HCM City but said that obstacles such as administrative procedures, investment policies, and especially taxation and customs regulations, hinder growth. He said that information on investment policies was at times confusing, making it difficult for businesses to identify the right information.

Phu said he hopes the HCM City Committee for Overseas Vietnamese and media agencies will help the overseas business community access accurate information about the State’s policies.

“Government agencies should organise more meetings to listen to suggestions and ideas from overseas Vietnamese so they can solve problems together,” he said.

Nguyen Ky Phung, deputy director of the city’s Department of Science and technology, said the city’s budget had allocated over US$90 million to support innovative start-up activities in the past two years.

The city’s innovative and creative community has more than 20 foreign partners, 24 incubation centres, 12 start-up co-working spaces and over 760 startups.

Most startups focus on Information and Communications Technology (ICT), agriculture, education and training.

However, domestic start-up businesses also need more knowledge, experience and support from the overseas Vietnamese business community to help Vietnam become a start-up nation. “HCM City is the starting point for many young overseas Vietnamese,” Phung said. According to the HCM City Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, each year the city welcomes more than 30,000 young overseas Vietnamese to visit and seek investment and co-operation opportunities with local partners.


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