Cat Lai port in HCM City (Photo:VNA)

Ho Chi Minh City has sustained steady economic growth in August though hit by a spate of difficulties, the municipal People’s Committee said at a meeting discussing local socio-economic situation on August 27.

Director of the municipal Department of Planning and Investment Thai Van Re reported that the southern economic hub’s industrial production index in the reviewed month expanded by 6.8 percent from a year before, fuelled by increases in processing and manufacturing activities.

The four key industries (engineering mechanics, electronics, chemistry-rubber-plastics, and food processing) posted an estimated annual growth rate of 6.9 percent.

Total retail sales of goods and services in the month rose by 11.1 percent year on year to over 57 trillion VND (2.65 billion USD), contributing to the eight-month sum of more than 437.05 trillion VND (20.3 billion USD), Re said.

Notably, HCM City welcomed 334,350 foreign arrivals, hiking by 8 percent from the same period last year. That made up roughly 2.83 million foreign visitors to the city in the past eight months, a yearly gain of 5 percent.

Another highlight of the local economy was foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction, the People’s Committee said, elaborating that the city licensed 353 new projects worth 2.32 billion USD from the year’s outset to August 20.

Meanwhile, around 466.5 million USD was added to 106 existing projects, raising new and additional FDI amount to 2.8 billion USD, which hiked 2.3 times against the same period last year.

The Department of Planning and Investment noted that the performance of domestic businesses was improving, reflected by a rise in newly-established enterprises. By August 20, the city had licensed the establishment of 20,206 enterprises with a combined registered capital of around 128.6 trillion VND (5.9 billion USD).

The aforementioned outcomes were attributed to the deployment of various measures boosting production and business activities, said Acting Director of the HCM City Institute for Development Studies Tran Anh Tuan, who also underlined the positive effects of the price stablisation and demand stimulation programmes.

At the meeting, Chairman of the People’s Committee Le Hoang Quan asked departments, sectors and localities to work harder to address business hindrances, especially administrative procedures, and attract hi-tech and green investments.

The municipal authorities have also designed concrete solutions to realise the yearly socio-economic targets, which included fostering dialogues with businesses and helping them strengthen competitiveness and innovate technologies.

The city will also step up trade and investment promotion campaigns along with the management over real estate and stock markets and bad debt of the banking systems.-VNA