HCM City looks to EU’s support in urban infrastructure hinh anh 1Metro line No.2 in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong on June 14 asked the European Union (EU) partners to help the city develop urban infrastructure, especially railway routes and Ben Thanh underground shopping centre.

During a working session in the city with a delegation of EU ambassadors to Vietnam led by Ambassador Bruno Angelet, head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam, Phong suggested providing technical support for projects and conducting feasibility studies for them.

As for the metro line No.2 project, Phong proposed the European Commission extend time for financial assistance reception to conduct feasibility studies for the project and adjust several terms in financial aid package to better suit construction progress and Vietnamese law.

The official said since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties in 1990, ties between Vietnam and the EU have grown, evidenced by the signing of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in 2012.

As Vietnam’s largest metro area, Ho Chi Minh City is striving to become an economic, financial, trade, science-technology centre in the region.

To such end, the city has devised two schemes on turning itself into a smart city and international financial hub, thus creating a driving force for the southern key economic zone and the country’s economy in general.

The EU now has 1,081 valid projects worth 3.95 billion USD in the city, mostly from the Netherlands with 136 projects worth 1.8 billion USD, the UK 617 million USD, Germany 286 million USD, Sweden 274 million USD and France 262 million USD.

In the first five months of this year, 41 European projects were licensed with a total capital of 26.82 million USD.

Angelet expressed his impression on the city’s development in terms of infrastructure and business climate, and vowed to offer technical and financial support to the city in infrastructure projects.

He said that the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is being completed for signing soon, adding that once the deal takes effect, more Vietnamese goods will be available in EU market.

Phong expressed his wish that EU countries would accelerate the ratification of the EVFTA.

In order to deliver on the EVFTA’s commitments, the city will review policies, step up administrative reform and pay attention to workforce training, he said, adding that it will also improve corporate competitiveness and tap opportunities to boost trade with the EU in the near future.

The city’s leader vowed to do his best to ensure a stable socio-political environment, legitimate rights and interests of investors as well as offer all possible support for enterprises to do long-term business there.

Both sides also agreed to enhance coordination in culture, education and people-to-people exchange.-VNA