HCM City economy hit by COVID-19, things to worsen, warns local officials hinh anh 1An aerial view of HCM City (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNS/VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City’s economic growth in the first quarter was only 0.4 percentage points higher than in the same period last year, Nguyen Thanh Phong, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, told a recent online meeting.

The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have a huge impact on the city’s economy from the second quarter onwards since enterprises have begun to see decrease of orders from major export markets, he said.

The city needs to come up with solutions to keep its economy afloat, he added.

It has rolled out policies to sustain its economy including financial assistance for people facing difficulties due to the outbreak and workers who have lost their jobs.

Phong said relevant agencies should ensure the money reaches the beneficiaries in a timely manner.

They also need to conduct surveys on what companies and home-based businesses need to mitigate their difficulties and set up criteria for priority, he said.

The city would continue to reduce red tape to ensure the circulation of goods, he promised.

He instructed relevant agencies to model economic development scenarios for each quarter and the whole year, assess and forecast growth prospects for each industry and sector and then come up with solutions to speed up development.

They also should inspect enterprises to ensure they comply with all safety criteria announced by authorities, he said.

HCM City plans to set up 35 new cooperatives this year, which will add 0.5 percentage points to its economic growth.

They include cooperatives to manage markets, especially wholesale markets, and provide services to universities, colleges and vocational schools.

Besides, efficient co-operatives will get assistance to improve their quality while inefficient ones will be shut down. All co-operatives will be encouraged to adopt IT.

The city will seek to establish synergies between co-operatives in the commercial and agricultural sectors.

More people returning from abroad

HCM City will have nearly 2,000 people returning from other countries in the next several days.

Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan instructed relevant agencies to take preventive measures to ensure they do not transmit COVID-19.

The city will also welcome thousands of experts, engineers, entrepreneurs, and tourists from other countries every day.

It will have to arrange for quarantine space for 4,000 people, Nhan said.

Moreover, with the rainy season beginning soon, relevant agencies also need to strengthen preventive measures against dengue fever and other diseases at quarantine areas, he said.

The city has taken measures to detect and isolate all possible sources of transmission from other countries, he said.

Nevertheless, the public should take all possible measures to protect themselves against infection, he warned.

On April 27, 300 students are expected to return from the US. They will be quarantined once they land at Tan Son Nhat International Airport./.