HCMC officials review economy

Ho Chi Minh City officials held a meeting September 28 to review socioeconomic performance in the first nine months and discuss the tasks that remain to be done in the last quarter. 

Phu My Bridge which opened to traffic on September 2 has come as a shot in the arm for both the city’s transport infrastructure and economy (Photo: SGGP)

Thai Van Re, director of the Planning and Investment Department, said: “The city economy thrived in the third quarter with a growth of 8.5 percent, much higher than in the earlier months, pushing the growth rate for the first nine months to 6.1 percent.”
 
“Bank deposits and credit have increased. The stock market has shown signs of a recovery.”
 
But he admitted the city has many more difficulties to overcome: Though the growth rate has increased, it remains lower than in previous years; services that account for a major chunk of economic growth, including tourism, transport, and finance, have seen a sharp decrease.
 
Industrial growth has yet to reach the growth rates of previous years. Exports have decreased from last year due to continued problems in the US, EU, and Japanese markets.
 
Some district officials expressed concern over the target allocated to them in the 2010 budget plan.
 
Le Minh Tri, chairman of the District 1 People’s Committee, said the target of VND4.3 trillion (US$238.9 million) for his district is too high and asked for a downward revision.
 
Lam Dinh Chien, chairman of District 10, too said the target of VND1.6 trillion is high too for his district, which can at best achieve VND1.2-1.3 trillion.
 
Nguyen Thi Hong, vice chairwoman of the city People’s Committee, instructed the tax and finance departments to work with the districts to revise the targets.
 
Ms. Hong said the People’s Committee has provided nearly VND15 trillion, double the planned amount, for infrastructure works and is set to provide a further VND2 trillion. But many more projects have yet to be funded or implemented despite funds being allocated, she said.
 
She ordered the Department of Finance and Treasury to scrap 65 projects that remain undone despite the funds being allotted for them.
 
She called on district administrations to complete auctions of unused factories to raise money for public works and build more markets and supermarkets in outlying areas.
 
The city’s standing vice chairman, Nguyen Thanh Tai, called on agencies to enhance competitiveness of key sectors and explore new export markets.
 
With many transportation projects requiring funding and the city’s finances being modest, the spending has to be done carefully and without wastage, he warned.
 
Chairman Le Hoang Quan said: “The city’s main asset is not money but land. Districts and organizations have to exploit this resource to the hilt and take the initiative to cooperate with enterprises and simplify administrative procedures for them.”

By Van Anh – Translated by Minh Thu

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