VCCI Chairman Vu Tien Loc speaks at the forum (Source: songmoi.vn)
Hanoi (VNA) - Developing a fertile ground for agriculture start-ups will be crucial for the sector’s much-needed transformation, experts said at an online forum on December 27.

Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) which co-organised the forum with Dien Dan Doanh Nghiep (Business Forum), said Vietnam had special advantages in agriculture and start-up entrepreneurship would promote the sector’s development, especially when restructuring it had become a priority.

He said there was increasing interest in investing in agriculture, and believed start-ups would take the lead, provided an “ecosystem’ was developed to make it happen.

The ecosystem should enable start-ups to access markets, supply human resource of high quality and have a financial structure to provide capital for start-ups, venture capital or angel investment, Loc said.

The Government is paying special attention to promoting start-ups, seeing them as a driver for economic restructuring, especially in the agriculture sector, said Pham Quang Hien, Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Enterprise Management Department.

Hien said the proportion of firms operating in agriculture and rural development remained modest, at around one per cent of the total. Agricultural production was also happening mainly on a small and scattered scale, he added.

He said that it was important to formulate detailed policies to attract private and foreign investments in agriculture and improve the business climate following the Government’s Resolution 19/NQ-CP.

Feasible agriculture production and land use plans were needed, Hien said.

Nguyen Chi Ngoc, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the Government played an important role in encouraging investments in agriculture – a sector with a lot of risk and slow capital recovery.

Application of modern technology would be key to the success of firms in this sector, Ngoc added.

Vu Ngoc Huyen from the Vietnam National University of Agriculture proposed a start-up consultancy service for the sector.

According to Pham Hong Quat, Director of the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation Development, promoting co-ordination between the Government, universities, scientist and firms is of significant importance in encouraging start-ups.

The Ministry of Science and Technology is preparing a project to establish a start-up ecosystem in Vietnam by 2025.-VNA