HCM City has maintained significant socio-economic growth despite the global economic challenges in the first half of the year.

According to a report released by the HCM City People's Committee at the fifth meeting of the City's Ninth Party Committee on July 12, the city attained a GDP of nearly 199,990 billion VND (9.7 billion USD) in the first sixth months, a year-on-year increase of 9.9 percent.

The city's GDP growth is 1.77 times higher than the common GDP growth of the country in the same period.

Total revenue for the State budget in the city amounted to 301.3 trillion VND (14.6 billion USD), accounting for 32.71 percent of the total state budget revenue across the country.

Total foreign direct investment registration reached 4.4 billion USD, representing 32.3 percent of the total FDI capital registered in Vietnam in the same period.

The city has kicked off five projects under the city's housing development programme.

These include a project to build 784 houses for low-income families and accommodations for workers on 6,700sq.m in Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park .

In addition, residential areas for resettlement of Vinh Loc B are being built for the residents affected by infrastructure development projects in District 6, and for residents affected by the National University Campus Development project.

The report said city authorities had successfully implemented the Government's Resolution No. 11 with support from city residents.

Through cutting 10 percent of permanent spending, district authorities and city agencies saved nearly 200 billion VND (9.7 million USD), while the cutting of purchases of automobiles and facilities saved 212.3 billion VND (10.3 million USD).

District authorities also had successfully encouraged landlords not to raise room rentals. The campaign helped tenants to save 518.1 billion VND per year and thus helped reduce difficulties facing students and low-income workers.

The chair of the meeting, Politburo member and Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee Le Thanh Hai said in the second half of the year the city authorities must promote production and business, which would stabilise the country's macro-economy, control inflation, and stimulate economic growth.

He said the city must enhance its programme to re-structure its economy, to raise productivity, quality, and the effectiveness and the competitiveness of the city's economy.

He also asked the city authority to further improve its investment environment and to boost infrastructure development.

According to the city authority's report, in the second half of 2011, the city will enhance its demand-stimulus programme by supporting bank-loan interest payments for projects in an aim to ensure balanced supply and demand in the market.

The city will also continue its price stabilisation programme, avoiding any sudden price hikes of goods covered under the programme.

The meeting also ratified an action plan to implement the resolution adopted by the 11th National Party Congress.

Under the action plan, the city will carry out measures to attain average GDP growth rate of 12 percent annually between 2011 and 2015, 1.5 times higher than the average national GDP growth rate.

The city aims to attain an annual 13 percent growth rate for the service sector; an 11 percent increase in the industrial growth rate, and 5 percent growth in agricultural production by 2015.

Hai said HCM City had to take the lead in the southern focal economic zone./.