10:04 | 03/05/2015 Society
(VEN) - Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) posted encouraging results in the first quarter of this year with the total gross domestic product (GDP) reaching VND202.04 trillion, an eight percent increase from a year ago, and an increase on the first-quarter growth rates for the last three years.
The city’s total retail sales and service revenues reached VND159.37 trillion in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 11.5 percent from a year ago. This includes VND124.86 trillion in trade revenue, accounting for 78 percent of municipal revenues and an increase of 11.7 percent from the same period last year, and VND23.5 trillion in real estate trading, an increase of 20 percent. Meanwhile, the industrial development index increased by 5.6 percent from a year ago. The scale of industrial production continued to expand overall, with processing and manufacturing industries on the rise, and mining industries on the wane.
In addition, investment attraction also looked good in the first quarter. Total new and adjusted investment capital in export processing zones (EPZs) and industrial parks (IPs) in the city exceeded US$381.7 million for this period, a 48.5 percent increase from a year ago. Exports by businesses in EPZs and IPs in the city reached US$1.1 billion, an 8.61 percent increase from a year ago, showing that investment – particularly foreign direct investment (FDI) – in these zones was not affected by the sharp decline in FDI in Vietnam in the last three months.
EPZs and IPs in Ho Chi Minh City have set a target of attracting US$700 million in investment capital this year. They will intensify investment in hi-tech and support industries focusing on four major industries including engineering, electronics and information technology, chemicals, and food and foodstuff processing.
To realize the goal, Ho Chi Minh City will put in place a full array of measures, including the construction of high-rise factories in the four EPZs and IPs of Dong Nam, Hiep Phuoc, Tan Thuan, and Linh Trung to serve investors, as well as building specialized IPs for support industries. The Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing Zones and Industrial Zones Authority (HEPZA) has already prepared 260ha of land for investors, most of which is located in the EPZs and IPs of Tan Thuan, Hiep Phuoc, An Ha, Tan Phu Trung, and Dong Nam. Concurrently, the city has been working with related agencies to help businesses obtain preferential loans, improve their technology, train high-quality human resources, improve their one-stop administration system, and intensify administrative reforms.
To maintain the growth momentum and attract investors, Ho Chi Minh City Planning and Investment Department Director Thai Van Re said that the city had launched a program to resolve difficulties for businesses. So far, the total balance of outstanding loans for five priority areas (including rural agriculture, export production and trading, small to medium-sized enterprises, support industries, and hi-tech businesses) has amounted to VND137.61 trillion, a 0.86 percent increase from a year ago. Of this, loans for small to medium-sized enterprises accounted for 65 percent./.
By Thanh Thanh