Saigon Co.op supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City (Source: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City’s economy in the first half of this year grew stronger than the same period last year, especially in the fields of services, industry and agriculture.

The information was released at the municipal authorities’meeting on June 20 to review the city’s performance across the fields in the first two quarters.

During the reviewed period, HCM City’s gross regional domestic production (GRDP) was estimated at over 476.9 trillion VND (21.46 billion USD), up 7.47 percent year-on-year, with good growth seen in services (up 7.7 percent), industry and construction (7.5 percent) and the farming sector (5.6 percent).

According to Tran Thi Binh Minh, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Planning and Investment, total retail sales of goods and services, and export revenue were higher than the corresponding time of 2015, significantly contributing to local economic growth.

The city’s industrial development index posted an estimated year-on-year rise of 6.9 percent. Of note, the four key industries – machinery, electronics, chemistry-rubber-plastics, and food processing – took the lead in expanding the market, upgrading equipment and improving quality as well as competitiveness of products.

Despite the high economic growth rate, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong stressed the need to seek more efficient and specific solutions in order to achieve an economic growth of at least 8 percent in 2016.

From January-June, HCM City saw the establishment of 16,322 new firms with total registered capital of 114.6 trillion VND, while 23,718 existing firms added 74 trillion VND to their capital, pumping a total of nearly 219 trillion VND (9.85 billion USD) into the economy, representing a year-on-year increase of 45.9 percent.

Phong called on local agencies and departments to create the best possible conditions for domestic businesses, focusing on streamlining administrative procedures in tax and customs and removing difficulties in accessing loans, land and technological innovation.

Meanwhile, foreign investments in the city contracted remarkably with only 780 million USD in newly-registered and additional foreign capital, down 35.1 percent compared with the same period last year.

Given the decline, the Chairman called for more heed to foreign investment attraction in a bid to prop up the city’s development.-VNA