Thirty years ago, its only piece of equipment had been an x-ray machine.

It currently gets 3,000 to 4,000 patients a day and provides emergency aid to over 400 of others, and was one of the city's first stroke treatment centres, said Dr. Phan Van Bau, the hospital’s director.

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An investment stimulus program carried out by the city had enabled the hospital to acquire the most advanced technologies and equipment with loans under the program, he said.

Tien Tuan Pharmaceutical Machinery Co., Ltd. was another to benefit from the program.

A company spokesperson said it had got an interest-free loan of VN 45 billion (USD 1.93 million) for building a factory and buying advanced equipment to expand production.

This enabled it to expand from having 40 workers and revenues of VND 40 billion (USD 1.72 million) a year to 200 employees and revenues of nearly VND 200 billion (USD 8.6 million), he said.

It is awaiting approval to invest in high-tech metalworking equipment using a loan of VND 10.5 billion (USD 451,800) with interest fully-subsidized.

In 2015, the municipal People’s Committee had begun the program, with technology, manufacturing, supporting industry, trading, agricultural, healthcare, education and training, culture and sports, infrastructure, and environment companies receiving 50-100 percent interest rate subsidies on loans of up to VND 100 billion (USD 4.3 million).

Speaking at a recent meeting held by the municipal People’s Committee to review the programme, delegates said it had significantly stimulated investment in certain sectors, helping shift the city’s economic structure in the right direction and improving its competitiveness.

Tran Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of the Department of Planning and Investment, said so far 281 projects costing VND 23.78 trillion (USD 1.02 billion) had received loans of VND 11.2 trillion (USD 483.02 million).

Thanks to the subsidized loans, enterprises had boldly invested in new production technologies and equipment, he said.

Reviewing the impact of the program on the city’s supporting industries, Nguyen Phuong Dong, Deputy Director of the Department of Industry and Trade, said the program had encouraged businesses to invest in sectors targeted by the city such as mechanical engineering, chemicals, plastic, rubber, food and foodstuff, electronics, IT, textiles, and footwear.

However, delegates at the meeting complained about complicated procedures enterprises have to complete to benefit from the program. This loses them market opportunities, making them hesitant about participating in the program.

Nguyen Thanh Phong, Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, said the investment stimulus program, unique in the country, had achieved positive results.

He instructed officials involved in the program to review and simplify procedures and reduce the time it takes to appraise applications from businesses.

The Chairman also instructed the Department of Planning and Investment to advise the city on adding and removing sectors based on the situation on the ground.

The city planned to double the loan amount to VND 200 billion for a project, he said.

Phong ordered relevant agencies and business groups to propagate information about the program to enable more businesses to benefit.

Source: VNA