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|Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc with senior officials of Binh Duong province|
|WTA 2018 will take place at the administrative centre of Binh Duong|
|Students are exposed to high technology at the Eastern International University|
Binh Duong will host the World Technopolis Association (WTA) conference on October 10-12. The event, organised not long after Binh Duong became an official WTA member, will confirm the status of Binh Duong as a global player. This is also a great opportunity for the province to attract resources for socio-economic growth and smart city development.
IMPROVING THE INTERNATIONAL STATUS OF BINH DUONG
Established in 1998 in South Korea’s Daejeon city, WTA is a multilateral international organisation aiming to connect the advancement of science and technology with local development, to achieve a shared development through co-operation and exchanges among science cities. The organisation believes that development of science and technology leads directly to the welfare and prosperity of mankind.
WTA currently has 106 member organisations from 48 countries and territories around the world. It has been implementing collaborative projects with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), aiming at the development of sustainable scientific cities and the management of scientific cities in a global context.
Binh Duong was introduced to WTA by Daejeon, with which it has co-operated in the past. A delegation of Binh Duong leaders visited Daejeon in August where Her Tae Jeong, the Mayor of Daejeon city and chairman of WTA, presented Binh Duong with the certificate of WTA membership. At the same time, Binh Duong was also chosen to host the 2018 WTA Summit.
According to Tran Thanh Liem, Chairman of Binh Duong People’s Committee, WTA 2018 is a very special event for both WTA and Binh Duong. This event also marks the milestone of WTA’s 20th anniversary, reaffirming the success and prestige of this organisation in the world. The event is also a fundamental milestone for setting a new vision and planning activities for the next decade, establishing global foundations for exchanges and co-operation in science and technology among WTA’s members.
Being the host of WTA, Binh Duong will welcome UNESCO’s leaders with more than 100 WTA member delegations including mayors, heads of universities and research institutes, and business leaders from more than 50 countries and territories around the world.
At the conference, the parties will share experiences and discuss their visions on governance and sustainable development of science and technology cities, with the theme of “Smart city as a driving force for innovation and sustainable development,” also making important connections in the process of globalisation.
The event will facilitate various meetings and seminars among mayors and leaders of universities and research institutes. There will be a global innovation forum co-organised by UNESCO, WTA, Daejeon, and Binh Duong. Other sessions of interest include the “High technology exhibition for science and technology enterprises around the world” and the “Smart city initiative contest” held in both Vietnam and South Korea.
OPPORTUNITIES TO ATTRACT INVESTMENT CAPITAL
Over the years, Binh Duong has been continuously developing and attracting high-quality investment capital flow. The province has made great progress and become one of the most dynamic economic development provinces of Vietnam, attracting the most foreign direct investment of any locality outside Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
In the first nine months of 2018, the total foreign investment capital of newly-registered enterprises, adjusted operations, and capital contribution in Binh Duong reached $1.339 billion, up 68 per cent on-year, and reaching 96 per cent of the target for all of 2018.
So far, Binh Duong has attracted more than 3,400 foreign-invested projects, with the total registered investment capital of more than $31.4 billion, averaging more than $9 million per project. Of these, more than 2,000 projects are in industrial zones with the total investment capital of $21 billion, making up 67 per cent of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) in the province. Binh Duong is now ranked third in the country after Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi for FDI attraction.
Binh Duong is now focusing on infrastructure and science and technology in its long-term strategy and at the macro level. The province has so far invested in many international-scale projects such as a modern administrative centre, an international exhibition centre, universities, hospitals, and hotels with international standards.
Chairman Liem said that WTA and its members pursue the same core values and common models of socio-economic development, in which the “triple helix” smart city model is very useful to Binh Duong.
The breakthrough achievements of the province towards smart city creation and innovation have garnered much interest from WTA for further co-operation in the future.
This event is an important and outstanding milestone for Binh Duong. Becoming a member of WTA will create great opportunities for Binh Duong to increase its international co-operation, promote its brand, and attract more FDI.
In particular, the event will also lay a foundation for Binh Duong to promote exchanges with other scientific cities around the world, exchange human resources, strengthen its management and governance capacity, improve its scientific technical capacity and advanced technology transfer, share development strategies to contribute greatly to the socio-economic comprehensive strategy of Binh Duong, and to become a smart city.
This event has a very important role for both WTA and Binh Duong province. WTA is a forum for connecting advanced technologies for development, while Binh Duong is one of Vietnam’s leading provinces in investment attraction and technology co-operation and transfer.
SETTING UP TOWARDS A SMART CITY
The plan to set up a smart city was officially approved by the Binh Duong People’s Committee in November 2016. This is a strategic breakthrough plan for the socio-economic development of Binh Duong to 2021, oriented toward developing a higher-value economy, high-tech manufacturing, and smart urban planning, as well as creating the fundamental conditions to reach for a knowledge economy.
Binh Duong is building a smart city via transparent methods that will develop enterprises, human resources, and infrastructure systems, strengthen manufacturing and business, and create opportunities for workers to have better access to science and technology.
According to a leader from Becamex IDC, since 2015, Binh Duong has been co-operating with the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands to promote socio-economic development under the “triple helix” model, which combines state, academia, and business.
Implementing this plan, Becamex IDC is working in four areas: people, technology, business community and infrastructure, and living and working environment.
This plan not only meets the six common criteria of the Intelligent Community Forum in setting up a smart city, its foundation is the factor of humans and the human resources of the city. Therefore, the co-operation between state, academia, and enterprise is very significant, aiming to train qualified human resources to meet the development requirements of the city in the future.
According to the leaders of Becamex IDC, the most visible result seen when implementing the construction of the smart city was that Binh Duong has attracted large-scale international groups to the province to seek investment opportunities. This initial result has promoted Binh Duong’s position in the eyes of the world.
The implementation of the plan to turn Binh Duong into a smart city is an unprecedented aspirational process with many different challenges.
This process, however, will also bring in new potential, in line with current global trends and contributing to turning Binh Duong into a high-value economy with knowledge-based production and services, and in the end, to create a dynamic, innovative, and connected environment for all parties.
At the same time, this plan also aims to transform Binh Duong into the first smart city to integrate the “triple helix” model in Vietnam.