The 16th session of the eight People’s Council of Ho Chi Minh City convened on December 9 with an agenda full of outstanding socio-economic matters besides a vote of confidence for officials holding 18 positions elected by the council.

In 2014, HCM City’s gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated at over 878.9 trillion VND (41.8 billion USD) while GDP per capita stood at 5,131 USD, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Hua Ngoc Thuan reported, adding that the city created jobs for 284,000 people and reduced the household poverty rate under the city’s own criteria to 1.35 percent.

The southern economic hub posted 32 billion USD in export earnings and 25.9 billion USD in imports value during the year. Up to 69.4 percent of its exports were technological, processed and manufactured products, which was raised in line with the policy of export re-structuring, he added.

However, the official also admitted that HCM City failed to achieve seven out of 28 targets set by the People’s Council, including the growth of export turnover, the number of users of public transport, the rate of urban households accessing clean water supply, the rate of rural households using safe water, the rate of treated medical wastewater, the dealing with severely polluting production facilities, and the reduction of rain-caused inundated sites.

Chairwoman of the People’s Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam said the city encountered an array of socio-economic difficulties this year, such as the poor performance of small- and medium-sized enterprises, the shortage of running water, and the complicated drug and prostitution situation.

She asked the council’s members to carefully examine the causes behind the failure to achieve set targets and work out implementation measures to improve performance in these aspects in 2015.

During four days of working, the council will also elect additional positions for agencies under the council, and carry out question-and-answer sessions.

It will also contemplate ten proposals submitted by the People’s Committee relating to transport fees, the change of land use purposes, and construction investment using the city’s budget next year, among others.-VNA