Science, technology development targets should be set from practice

The Politburo’s Resolution 05 has set a target that 30-35 percent enterprises nationwide will have creative and innovative activities but the ratio has been very low. 
Pharmaceutical chemistry is one of industries which HCMC has given development priority to (Photo: SGGP)
Pharmaceutical chemistry is one of industries which HCMC has given development priority to (Photo: SGGP)
HCMC have so far seen 80 businesses applying for certification of science and technology projects with only 10 having been certified.
Similarly, the Ministry of Science and Technology has set aside VND2 trillion (US$88 milion) in financial assistance for businesses with creative and innovative activities but so far only three cases have been approved to access the fund.
For a long time, HCMC has given priority to development of four industries with high science and technology content and added value comprising mechanics, electronics-information technology, pharmaceutical chemistry-rubber, food and foodstuff processing and other industries such as biotechnology, clean and energy saving technologies and support industry.
Nevertheless, there is no statistics showing investment efficiency as well as added value from these industries.
Deputy chairwoman of the HCMC People’s Council Truong Thi Anh said that the city always aim at developing industries with high productivity but there has no estimation about the productivity of each economic industry.
Therefore, the council has proposed HCMC’s Statistics Department to conduct surveys on total-factor productivity (TFP) to create a basis for economic development policymaking and strategic planning.
Mr. Huynh Van Hung, head of the Statistics Department, said that the agency would gather information about businesses and conduct surveys on the efficiency of each industry as well as labor quality and capital to create a database to better management and policymaking by authorized agencies.
The database will be publicized for businesses to decide which industries they should invest in.
Formerly conducted TFP surveys have showed limitation in population increase speed. Therefore labor force growth rate will slow down after a certain period of time.
Investment capital source for the economy is not infinite. In addition, if the ratio of investment capital from credit sources is high, it is hardly probable to bring economic benefits.
Meantime, the advancement of science and technology and knowledge is unlimited. Hence application of technical achievements, technology innovation and management improvement in production will increase TFP.
That requires to conduct new surveys to specify the index to make a foundation for economic development planning.
Deviation in labor force
According to surveys, there are problems in labor resource. HCMC has been short of high qualified workers but there are many college graduates and bachelors have to do low level jobs.
Statistics from 2014 show that the country had 1.16 million college graduates and those with higher degrees who were doing jobs lower than their degrees. Of these, 631,000 people own bachelors’ degree or higher.
Surveys have also pointed out that high level workers are focusing in industries with low added value while high added value industries have been short of high qualified workers.
Economic development in digital technology time requires to have many businesses with creative and innovative activities and science and technology enterprises but the number has been few.
Service sector has the highest investment capital ratio, over 69 percent, followed by industry and construction with over 26 percent. Agro-aqua-forestry sector has the lowest ratio, below 1 percent, but the efficiency of using investment capital is higher the two former.
Statistics in 2014 indicate that the number of workers with high school level and lower accounted for 75 percent of population. The ratio reduced to 72 percent in 2015.
Previous surveys in 2012 showed that bachelors concentrated in finance, banking, insurance, education, information and communications. The rate of trained workers in labor intensive industries such as agriculture, forestry, seafood, processing and manufacturing was very low although these fields brought high economic efficiency.

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