In his opening remarks, HCMC Chairman, Nguyen Thanh Phong, stated that as the leading Vietnamese economic engine, HCMC is striving for rapid and sustainable growth by creating a conducive business environment and encouraging business start-ups and innovations. HEF 2018 aims to discuss the role of businesses in building innovative urban areas and collect ideas on connecting different stakeholders in order to enhance the innovation capacity and efficiency of enterprises. Through the forum, the city wishes to seek effective measures to mobilise resources and promote the strength of 372,000 enterprises based in HCMC, in building an innovative district in the eastern part of the city. Phong emphasised that the municipal government pledges to do its utmost so that enterprises become the true drivers of an innovative city, with measures including bold administrative reform and a transparent legal framework to support enterprises. As part of HEF 2018, the HCMC government introduced its plan to build the eastern part of the city into an innovative city and attract investment in accordance with this intention. The initiatives and expertise presented at the forum are expected to help Ho Chi Minh City to promptly realise its goal of becoming a smart and innovative city on the global map.