US provides grant for HCMC’s smart city development

06:03 | 22/09/2020 Cooperation

(VEN) - The US has been providing grants to the realization of Ho Chi Minh City’s smart city development.

us provides grant for hcmcs smart city development
Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Secretary Nguyen Thien Nhan (right) holds talks with representatives of American companies

Realizing the goal

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Information and Communications has signed an agreement with the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) on technical assistance for the building of an intelligent operations center in Vietnam’s largest city.

The project is the continuation of a project on technical assistance for the building of an emergency and rescue information center implemented during the 2018-2019 period.

The operations center is among four key pillars in a master plan to transform Ho Chi Minh City into a smart city in the 2017-2020 period, with a vision to 2025. The center will be the “brain” of a smart city, collecting and analyzing real-time data to help decision-makers govern, plan and shape the future development of Ho Chi Minh City.

The project will be carried out by Winbourne Consulting, one of the leading consulting firms with considerable experience in the construction and operation of command centers in support of public safety in the US and other countries around the world.

US-based Winbourne Consulting will assess the status of information technology and telecommunications infrastructure for smart city development; make recommendations according to the city’s general direction; develop appropriate operating principles and procedures for the center; propose an organizational structure, operational apparatus and personnel training; and determine life cycle cost and other related issues.

Total investment in the project is over US$1.4 million, including nearly US$1.2 million non-refundable aid from the USTDA and the remaining from Winbourne Consulting.

US companies seek smart city projects

US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink said Vietnam was the 13th largest US trading partner in 2019. The two business communities have increasingly tightened their cooperation, with American companies investing several billion dollars in Vietnam’s key sectors, such as energy, tourism and infrastructure, as well as in Ho Chi Minh City’s smart city projects.

In the general regional context, the Covid-19 pandemic highlights the weakest points in business supply chains. This is a pivotal moment for Vietnamese and US companies to drive new partnerships and expand business opportunities. With the US as a partner, Vietnam has potential to create breakthroughs towards a modern and digitally enabled economy, advancing beyond other countries in the region, Kritenbrink said.

Intel Products Vietnam (IPV) General Director Kim Huat Ooi said IPV was the first high-tech company to invest over US$1 billion in Ho Chi Minh City. Investment attraction is attributed to the city’s political stability, open attitude in welcoming new technology solutions, and good infrastructure.

Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said the city has made great efforts to provide a good, friendly and safe living environment. The city listens to investors and works closely with them for the city’s sustainable development and investors’ success.

US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink said Ho Chi Minh City has long been a reliable partner as the two sides work together to create a city that is innovative, smart and efficient, utilizing the best technology the US has to provide a better way of life for the Vietnamese people. The two sides have cooperated in seven smart city projects.

Thao Ngoc