Hanoi strives to untie Secretary of the Hanoi Municipal Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue speaks at the event (Photo: VNA) 

Hanoi (VNA) – Secretary of the Hanoi Municipal Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue has said that the city is willing to listen to enterprises’ feedback to untie “knots” regarding policies, site clearance and planning adjustments, as public and private investment is an economic lifesaver of the city's economy.

During a dialogue with businesses in Hanoi on April 16, Hue said the COVID-19 pandemic is seriously hurting the world economy, including Vietnam. Hanoi’s economy grew by 3.72 percent in the first quarter this year, lower than the country’s average.

Calling on investors to develop agriculture, he said Hanoi is determined to raise agriculture’s growth by 4.62 percent this year by increasing heads of cattle and poultry.

According to the official, the city is reviewing land plots so as not to leave them unused. In the outlying district of Ba Vi, 41 ha could be used for clean vegetable cultivation so that investors could consider working on them immediately, he said.

Hue said the municipal authorities will also hold a working session with the Ministry of Information and Communications next week to achieve the target of having one business, even a start-up in the field of information technology, digital economy and public services, per 1,000 people.

About public investment, Hanoi has had over 107 trillion VND (4.65 billion USD) over the past five years, or 10 percent of the country’s total, he said, adding that the city stays determined to disburse nearly 40 trillion VND of public investment to ease difficulties for businesses.

In order to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic, he said Hanoi will continue effectively implementing the Law on Support for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), process administrative procedures online at level 3, and step up online registration for procedures involving businesses at level 4.

In his view, Hanoi will promptly devise a scheme to support SMEs for the 2021-2025 period, boost start-ups and innovation, improve the quality and diversify business support services, as well as realise the Government’s mechanisms and policies to back production, trade and social welfare for those hit by the epidemic in line with resolutions by the Party Central Committee, the Government and the municipal Party Committee.

Speaking at the event, Chairwoman of BRG Group Nguyen Thi Nga suggested that the Ministry of Planning and Investment should reduce corporate tax by 50 percent, apply added value tax from 0 percent or cut it by 50 percent, and offer land use tax exemption.

Other corporate executives also proposed tax exemption or reduction.

In the first quarter of this year, Hanoi’s regional gross domestic product rose by 3.72 percent, industrial index up 4.44 percent, total retail up 2.3 percent. The total social investment hiked by 5.2 percent to 63.04 trillion VND.

There were 6,350 newly-registered firms, raising the total to over 285,300 as of March 31.

During the period, more than 4,200 companies suspended operations, up 36 percent year-on-year. Exports reached over 2.74 billion USD, down 18.1 percent while imports topped 5.83 billion USD, down 21.3 percent annually.

Almost all sectors saw decrease in revenues, including textile and garment down 30 percent, footwear 20 percent, transportation and hospitality services 20-50 percent./.