09:51 | 25/06/2018 Economy
(VEN) - Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong has pledged enhanced efforts to improve the investment and business environment of the country’s largest metropolis. These efforts are particularly important for the city’s top priority of luring new-generation foreign direct investment (FDI) in high technology and urban development.
Effective investment attraction
HCMC has achieved significant achievements in economic development. The municipal economy grew 8.25 percent in 2017, 25 percent more than the growth of the Vietnamese economy, with gross domestic product (GDP) for the first time exceeding VND1,000 trillion, contributing 22 percent to Vietnam’s GDP.
Five years ago, the city encountered difficulties in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). Following efforts to improve the investment environment, accelerate administrative reforms to abolish unnecessary procedures and intensify the application of information technology in administration, FDI has grown in recent years.
In 2016, HCMC attracted US$3.46 billion of FDI. In 2017, this increased to US$6.6 billion, up more than 90 percent. In the first four months of 2018, FDI in the city reached US$1.55 billion. The percentage of FDI in HCMC in total FDI in Vietnam increased from 13 percent in 2016 to 18.4 percent in 2017.
HCMC Communist Party Committee Secretary Nguyen Thien Nhan said the city needs to improve its transport infrastructure and deal with flooding and environmental pollution, as well as rapid population growth. The city is seeking cooperation from foreign investors to overcome these challenges. This year, the city is determined to implement National Assembly Resolution 54/2017/QH14 piloting specific mechanisms and policies to develop HCMC. At the same time, it will develop a project to turn HCMC into a smart city. The city also intends to build a creative urban area to the east, which will consist of Districts 2, 9 and Thu Duc District. This will be an interactive urban area, enabling HCMC to get ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
HCMC People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong affirmed the city’s determination to make further efforts to improve the investment and business environment. Specifically, it will strive to raise the percentage of businesses making electronic tax declarations to 98 percent and electronic tax payments to 90 percent. It also plans to reduce the time required to deal with customs procedures, as well as to inspect goods, by 50 percent; and cut the time required to deal with housing and land-associated asset ownership registration from 57 days to 14 days. The city will establish an inter-sector working group to assist businesses in renting or leasing land.
For HCMC, all businesses are equal before the law. The city pledged not to criminalize economic and civil relations. It will carry out business inspection once a year and address difficulties facing businesses. The city has assigned the municipal department of planning and investment to act as a liaison office to receive business opinions and give feedback to each company.