HCMC economy steadily moves forward

Based on the economic strides Ho Chi Minh City has made from January-June, and if more efforts are taken soon, the city has a chance to achieve a 12 percent growth in GDP for the year, the city leader said.

HCMC People’s Committee chairman Le Hoang Quan made the statement at the June 24 meeting with official agencies to review performances for the period and discuss tasks for the rest of the year.   

Workers make shirts for export at the Nha Be Garment JS Co. in HCMC during the recent period of strong economic growth. (Photo: SGGP)

Industrial output expands 13.7 percent

The city’s GDP in the first six months of the year is estimated at VND162.2 trillion (US$85.3 billion), up 11 percent from last year and equal to the highest rate of growth over the past 5 years, Thai Van Re, director of the city Department of Planning and Investment, said.

The growth rate is very encouraging, since in the first six months of last year, the GDP growth rate was just 4.6 percent, Mr. Re said. 

Growth has been seen in all economic fields, including industries, agricultural production and services, he added.

Two or three years ago, the growth of the city’s industrial output was always lower than the country’s average, but in the first six months of the year, the city posted a growth of 13.7 percent, 0.1 percent higher than the national mean rate, said Nguyen Van Lai, director of the city Department of Industry and Trade. 

He attributed the good performance to the sound leadership of the city Party Committee and Government, the business sector’s dedication to renovating technology and improvements of production management and operation.

The total amount of retail sales and service revenue in the period is likely to surpass last year’s numbers by 33.1 percent, with retail sales alone registering a growth of 26.9 percent.

So far this year, the number of foreign visitors arriving in the city accounted for over 50 percent of all tourists traveling to Vietnam, according to statistics.

Outstanding problems

Along with such economic achievements, there remain many social problems the city must resolve soon to boost its growth and improve quality of life, many attendants of the meeting commented. 

Traffic congestion has yet to be improved, many environmental pollution problems, including water contamination, remain unsolved, and public transportation has yet to satisfy demand, many attending the meeting concluded.

Many industries continued suffering from a shortage of skilled workers, especially in industrial parks and export processing zones, since human resource training has failed to meet practical needs of the society.

Controls over food hygiene and safety are not being carried out closely, exposing a weakness.

In addition, the treatment of medical waste has been inadequate.

Recently arrived travelers strolling in HCMC, the destination of over 50 percent of the country’s international tourists since the beginning of the year. (Photo: SGGP)

Solutions adopted

To continue driving the economy towards sustainable development, meeting attendees agreed that solutions to paramount concerns need put into action during the rest of the year.

“Boosting industrial production must go hand in hand with enhancing product quality so as to improve the competitiveness of domestic products in particular and the economy in general,” said Mr. Quan.

High-added value services and four industries must receive a boost, namely mechanics, electronics and information technology, chemicals and food processing,” he said.  

The meeting also agreed more improvements should be made to the trade and investment fields to increase exports.

The city will also run financial and monetary policies flexibly and properly to stabilize the macro-economy, restrain inflation and boost growth.

All official agencies must practice thrift, prevent wastefulness in State budget spending, and strictly punish to any violators of tax regulations, especially the VAT.

The meeting also called on relevant agencies to accelerate administrative reforms, specifically their anti-corruption measures, fight against trade fraud, illegal speculation and smuggling.

In addition, the city should take necessary steps to protect the environment, improve people’s quality of life, maintain social order and safety and ease traffic congestion.

By Van Anh – Translated by Quang Hung

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