Hanoi has set a target to earn 5 billion USD from the information and technology (IT) industry this year, with incentives being provided to encourage investments in the sector.

The turnover from hardware was expected to reach 3 billion USD, 80 percent of which would come from exports and the annual growth rates for software and the content sectors would reach 15 percent.

Experts have pointed out that to develop the IT industry, the capital city must formulate detailed incentive policies to encourage investments and develop concentrated IT areas, even as the State budget for the IT industry remains modest.

Although the IT industry contributed largely to Hanoi's gross domestic product, the capital city fell behind other major cities, including Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City and Bac Ninh province in the rankings for IT development. In 2014, Hanoi was ranked fifth out of 63 provinces and cities by the Vietnam ICT Index.

At a recent meeting of the municipal Department of Information and Communications with IT firms, Nguyen Long, President of the Vietnam Association for Information Processing, said the progress for building concentrated IT areas was slow in Hanoi in comparison with HCM City and Da Nang.

The municipal Department of Information and Communications report said the implementation of key IT park projects was slow, adding that the city lacked the factors that could result in a breakthrough for the development of the IT industry.

The report also revealed that foreign direct investment into the IT industry in the city was low in comparison with other localities, such as Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen provinces, HCM City and Hai Phong City, which had attracted investments from technology giants, such as Samsung, Intel and LG.

"Incentives would be transparent for both foreign and domestic investors," Long said.

To achieve the target, Hanoi would enhance the State management together with raising incentives to encourage investments for developing the IT industry. Besides, the construction of IT parks would be hastened.

At the meeting, the Deputy Chairman of the municipal People's Committee, Le Hoang Son, said the Department of Information and Communications must listen to firms to solve the difficulties that they were facing while formulating appropriate policies.

The department's statistics show that there are nearly 5,000 IT firms operating in the city. The IT industry has grown by 12 to 15 percent each year and contributed around 12 percent to the country's total IT turnover.-VNA