16:34 | 05/06/2016 Society
(VEN) - Ho Chi Minh City (HCM City) was once described as the Pearl of the Far East. However, it now lags behind its regional competitors. To make the city a better place to live, Politburo Member and Ho Chi Minh City Party Secretary Dinh La Thang has asked sectors and authorities to make their utmost efforts in order for the city to restore its reputation in the ASEAN region.
Production at the Samsung factory in a high-tech park, District 9, Ho Chi Minh City
At a recent municipal people’s committee conference, Dinh La Thang underlined that municipal leaders and people would get together to promote the city’s development, lead the south and continue to act as an engine for implementing national strategic goals. He also wanted the city to regain its central role in finance, science and technology and other fields in Southeast Asia.
41 years after the liberation of the south national reunification, despite remaining the largest economic center in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City has not yet made the most of its internal strengths. Although indexes in terms of investment, industry, trade and services, and export and import continued to increase, they have not matched its potential.
For instance, the city received 158 new foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with total capital of US$192.4 million in the first quarter of this year, a 58 percent increase from a year ago in the number of projects, but a 66.3 percent drop in terms of capital. Almost 6,000 FDI projects with total registered capital of more than US$39 billion are still effective in the city, including 827 Japanese projects with total capital of US$2.7 billion. Japan has also funded US$3 billion worth of official development assistance capital for eight projects in the city, most of which are in environment and transport infrastructure, including the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien Metro line 1 project, which is now under construction.
However, once the investment environment improves as a result of multiple incentive policies, the city should be able to attract many more FDI projects, particularly in support industries, high technology and infrastructure.
To realize its dreams, municipal authorities have outlined a full array of specific and strong measures to bolster economic growth, with a focus on improving the investment environment and boosting production and trading.
Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Deputy Chairman Le Van Khoa said that city authorities are working on remedies, mechanisms and policies to attract investment in high technology and support industries, while at the same time looking to resolve difficulties, create the best environment for development of production, trading and investment, and reform tax and customs procedures.
In the short run, the city will attract investment in four major industries and nine major service sectors, including high-tech agriculture and support industries. It will launch 108 trade and investment promotion activities. Following this policy, the Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority expects to attract US$700 million worth of FDI in 2016, prioritizing projects in high-tech, support industries, manufacturing, electronics and information technology, chemical, rubber and plastic, and food processing.
In the long term, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee asked sectors and businesses to restructure the economy with a focus on productive and effective projects and to progressively shift from small-scale business to modern, concentrative production chains to create high-quality and competitive products. Apart from developing high-tech industries, the city will prioritize investors in financial services, insurance, tourism and education.
The Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority expects to attract US$700 million worth of FDI in 2016, prioritizing projects in high-tech, support industries, manufacturing, electronics and information technology, chemical, rubber and plastic, and food processing.