HCM City calls on FDI firms to support sustainable local development

16:08 | 24/04/2018 Economy

The leaders of Ho Chi Minh City held a meeting with foreign-invested (FDI) businesses, calling on them to work side by side with the southern Vietnamese metropolis toward the goal of rapid and sustainable development.

Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan speaks at the meeting

The event, held on April 21, drew representatives of foreign businesses’ associations and nearly 200 FDI companies in Ho Chi Minh City.

Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan said over the past few years, Ho Chi Minh City has made efforts to improve its investment climate, step up administrative reforms, streamline procedures, increase transparency and boost IT application in the settlement of administrative procedures to enhance the attractiveness to foreign investment.

As a result, the city attracted US$6.6 billion in FDI in 2017, surging over 90 pct from the previous year. In the first quarter of 2018 alone, the figure stood at US$1.37 billion, compared to US$5.8 billion in the entire country.

However, he said, Ho Chi Minh City is also facing an array of typical challenges of a big city such as an outdated transport system, and overloading in infrastructure, hospitals, schools and housing due to rapid population growth. Meanwhile, heavy climate change impacts and risks of serious flooding have also negatively influenced local people’s life and businesses’ activities.

Secretary Nhan called on FDI enterprises to take part in key socio-economic development projects, noting that the city particularly encourages them to suggest measures and share experience in building a smart city.

He affirmed that Ho Chi Minh City considers businesses and people’s satisfaction as the meter of its development and efficiency of its administrative apparatus’ performance.

A representative of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham Vietnam) said that European companies want the city to put forth more open and transparent policies. The legal system regarding investment activities needs to be consistent in both theory and practice. It is also necessary to improve the quality of human resources, not only manual workers but also middle and high-level manpower, in order to meet foreign businesses’ demand.

Sharing the same view, Saranya Skontanarak, Chairwoman of the Thai Business (Vietnam) Association, said manpower quality not only affects the attractiveness for foreign investment but also serves as a decisive factor of smart city building success.

Seck Yee Chung, Vice President of the Singapore Business Group – Ho Chi Minh City Chapter, said Ho Chi Minh City and many other cities in Vietnam want to build smart cities, which is a necessary step toward modernising cities and solving hot issues pertaining to transport infrastructure, the environment and databases.