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Vietnam's biggest software park urged to go public for stronger performance

Tuesday, May 31, 2016, 17:45 GMT+7

The company that manages a  Ho Chi Minh City-based software development center should undergo a privatization process as soon as possible, in order to live up to its potential, the city’s Party Committee chief said Saturday.

Once going public, the Quang Trung Software City (QTSC), the operator of the Quang Trung Software Park, will also be able to afford better incomes for its executives and engineers, party committee secretary Dinh La Thang said as he toured the facility in District 12.

During the visit, Thang asked the QTSC director Lam Nguyen Hai Long of his salary. After knowing that Long gets VND24 million (US$1,071) a month, Thang shook his head to show disappointment.

“It is unacceptable for the wage of the director of the leading software park in the country and the region to be so modest,” Thang said.

The party chief said the park director deserves a salary “ten times the current rate,” so that he could feel motivated to work better.

“To this end, you should speed up the privatization process for QTSC,” he concluded.

Founded in 2001, QTSC, 100 percent owned by the government, is now biggest software park in Vietnam.

Responding to Thang’s privatization request, Long said he “is personally in great support of the idea.”

“But we should follow the state procedure, and can only speed up the process with approval from the government,” the director added.

Thang quickly said “You do not have to wait for any permission, just do it now.”

Thang said as a company in charge of ensuring infrastructure for a software park that makes more than $220 million worth of products annually, it is unacceptable for QTSC to be prevented from developing just because of state mechanism.

The party chief said QTSC should go public so that private investors can take part in developing the company. “Then you will be able to offer reasonable incomes to attract talents,” he said.

Thang said QTSC is underpaying its staff, which is a hindrance for the company to grow further. The official was also briefed during the visit that an engineer with three years of experience earns VND8 million – 10 million ($350-$450) a month at QTSC, which he said is “too modest company to the high living standard of a software engineer.”

Thang also said QTSC should not just wait for order for software products from the city’s administration.

“You should be active in figuring what software solutions the city is in need and encourage authorities to buy your products,” he said.

“There are many things you can do: the city needs anti-crime software or products that increase transparency in giving construction licenses.

“If you can make products to solve these issues, the city’s authorities will buy immediately.”

Spanning 430,000 square meters, QTSC is accountable for various functions, including software production, exhibition center and accommodation, according to the company’s website.

In 2015, QTSC had 120 tech companies operating and 33 investors, including such big names as HP and IBM.

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