Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hai Phong (VNA) – The northern city of Hai Phong sets to have about 33,000 operational enterprises by 2020 in an effort to develop the private sector as an engine of the local economy.

To this end, the port city has taken various moves to improve business climate and support the growth of startups and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Being aware of innovative startups’ potential, the city has adopted a plan on local startup ecosystem development to 2020, said Director of the municipal Department of Science and Technology Duong Ngoc Tuan.

Under the plan, the city expects to have 100 startup projects, 20 percent of which get funding from investors; and have 50 startup businesses, of which at least 20 are recognised as hi-tech firms.

Hai Phong has further improved a business environment. This year, the municipal People’s Committee opened 11 dialogues with enterprises to learn about their problems and help them remove barriers. The Hai Phong Economic Zone Authority has also held such type of dialogue to promptly resolve difficulties for investors.

As a result, the time required to complete business registration was cut by 23 percent while the time for a business to obtain an investment permit was reduced by 45 percent.

Furthermore, the city is drafting new policies to support local SMEs, in which more than 256 hectares of land will be zoned off to develop industrial clusters and areas for processing of agricultural, forestry and aquatic products and preferential land lease rates will be offered to the SMEs in these areas.

The SMEs will be supported to participate in supply chains in the fields of industry, agriculture, forestry and aquaculture.

As of November 22, Hai Phong has lured 295 FDI projects, worth over 13.4 billion USD, to its economic zones and industrial parks. The number of projects invested by domestic firms stood at 136 with the total capital of approximately 136.2 billion VND (5.9 million USD).

In this year, the city expects to grant business licences to 3,175 new enterprises who registered combined capital of over 19.4 trillion VND (840.1 million USD), up 5.34 percent and 8.45 percent, respectively, from the previous year.

The city estimates to collect about 70.7 trillion VND (3.06 billion USD) for the State budget, including 43 trillion VND (1.86 billion USD) from export and import activities. –VNA