HCMC reaches out to smart city investors

14:16 | 17/05/2018 Economy

(VEN) - Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is mobilizing resources to realize its plan for developing a smart city. The city is appealing to domestic and foreign enterprises for support in technological infrastructure development so it can improve and modernize its administration, build efficient e-government, undertake administrative reform, and provide residents with smart transportation, education and healthcare.

hcmc reaches out to smart city investors
Many enterprises are interested in HCMC’s smart city development plan

On April 21, city leaders met with representatives of nearly 200 foreign-invested (FDI) businesses and business associations, 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 told participants that 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, almost double the previous year’s investments. 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.

Almost 80,000 people or 1.86 percent of all workers in the city are already working in the information technology (IT) and telecommunications sector. HCMC has reached hardware and software export value of about US$9 billion, accounting for 25 percent of the city’s total export value.

However, he said, Ho Chi Minh City is also facing an array of challenges that typically afflict big cities, such as an outdated transport system, and overloading in infrastructure, hospitals, schools and housing due to rapid population growth.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

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

Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) General Director Pham Duc Long said at the event that HCMC needs to mobilize resources from different sources to develop a smart city. It should be guided by advisory and supervision teams to serve the smart city plan implementation, and have overall plans, targets and priorities for specific projects, he said.

Thanh Thanh