Businesses demand more HCM City government support hinh anh 1A worker makes rocking chairs at Tuyen Hiep Loi Co Ltd in Cu Chi District, HCM City (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City’s efforts to reform its administration and create conditions for businesses to develop have not met the expectation of many entrepreneurs, a meeting between the city’s leaders and businesses in HCM City on March 7 heard.

Kieu Huynh Son, Vice Chairman of the HCM City Association of Mechanical and Electrical Enterprises, said there are policies to develop supporting industries, like interest rate subsidies, help with acquiring technologies, training, but only a few large companies have benefited.

The sector’s development remains modest compared to other sectors and its potential, he said.

He said the city should establish industrial clusters or small parks for supporting industries because 80 percent of them are still located outside IPs.

This would make it easy for the sector to become linked, find resources and access support programmes, he said.

It takes just one to three months for a large project to get a licence in other provinces but much longer in the city, delegates said, underlining the need to focus on administrative reform.

Le Thanh Lam, deputy general director of Saigon Food, called for policies to help develop domestic retailers.

Nguyen Hoang Ngan, Deputy General Director of the Binh Minh Plastics Company, said most Vietnamese enterprises are small- or medium-sized and face difficulties in raising funds.

Vietnamese plastic firms face the threat of being acquired by wealthy foreign companies, and so the Government should help the former access funding, he said.

Businesses also called for better oversight of food hygiene and safety, cracking down on fake goods, and other action.

Addressing the meeting gathering executives representing nearly 400 businesses, Nguyen Thanh Phong, the municipal People’s Committee Chairman, said the city is increasingly integrating economically, which brings both opportunities and challenges.

For this year it has set an economic growth target of 8.4-8.7 percent and hopes to have 50,000 new businesses incorporated and be among the top five localities in the Vietnam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI).

To achieve these targets, there need to be efforts by both businesses and the city government, he said.

In the long term, the city’s economic development would be based on innovation, knowledge, advanced technologies and high productivity, he said.

“The city will reasonably combine deep and wide economic growth, with deep growth playing a decisive role, and resolutely refuse economic development at the cost of the environment.”

The city’s key economic activities in the long term would be services and innovation, with a focus on building a complete start-up eco-system to achieve a target of having 500,000 businesses in 2020, turning into a smart city and having its companies among the world’s 500 top ones, he said.

Dinh La Thang, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee, said administrative reform would continue in an effort to create a strong foundation for faster and stronger development.

With the series of free trade agreements the city had signed, local firms need to have strategies to ensure strong development in their home market, he said.

They must active in improving their technologies to keep pace with their foreign counterparts, he said.

He called on relevant agencies to create better conditions for businesses and offer better support to all economic sectors, which would contribute to the city’s growth, he said.

The municipal authorities promised to help business by resolving their difficulties and creating the best conditions for them to develop.-VNA