City’s GDP growth may reach target, say officials

Ho Chi Minh City has completed 18 out of 20 of its economic and social targets for the year, Thai Van Re, director of the city’s Department of Planning and Investment, reported at a meeting with a visiting delegation of the National Assembly (NA) Friday.

Workers at a garment factory in Ho Chi Minh City. Textile and garment inductry contributes a significant part in city's GDP.

The two targets that cannot be reached at the current time are economic growth and total export turnover, he said.

However, Mr Re said that the city’s GDP development rate was predicted to reach 10.3 percent in the last three months of the year, which would see an annual growth rate of 7.5 percent.

In the middle of the year, when the economic downturn was rather serious, many provincial and municipal authorities around the country revised economic targets down. However, HCM City authorities did not change their target, with officials seeing signs of recovery and kept it set at 7.5 percent.

The head of the delegation, Tran Hoang Tham said that delegates were worried about unchanged growth rate.

“But attempts, displayed in flexible measures that the city has carried out, have improved its economy,” he said.

According to the deputy chairman of the city, Nguyen Thanh Tai, the local economy is recovering and achieving an initial success after the downturn month by month.

At the meeting, city leaders sent a proposal to the Government and the NA, asking for the city to be allowed to keep excess money from the budget and use it for investment in urban infrastructure and social welfare.

Regarding an urban management mechanism, leaders asked to adapt certain national rules for a city with a population of ten million, as general rules applied to the whole country are not relevant to the problems in Ho Chi Minh City.

The city also asked to have control over its own budget and double the capital spent on public infrastructure.

In addition, the director of the city’s Department of Finance, Dao Thi Huong Lan, suggested the Government cut the city’s expected budget target because the city can not meet the goal of VND133 trillion in 2010, as it will only hit VND128 trillion.

By Van Anh-Translated by Quynh Nhu

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