HCM City records growth of 7.86 percent in first half hinh anh 1A corner of Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA)
– Ho Chi Minh City posted an economic growth rate of 7.86 percent year-on-year in the first half of the year to 611.5  trillion (26.3 billion USD).

The figure was announced at a meeting of the municipal People’s Committee on July 19 to review the socio-economic performance in the first six months and launch plans for the remaining months.

During the reviewed time, the service sector expanded 8.06 percent, industry and construction at 6.7 percent and agriculture at 6.01 percent.

Retail sales increased by 12.2 percent to 558.5 trillion VND (23.99 billion USD).

Meanwhile, exports grew an estimated 9.2 percent to 19.6 billion USD.

Foreign direct investment was worth 3.21 billion USD, up 20 percent.

Up to 4.25 million international tourists visited the city, an increase of 10.9 percent, with revenues from tourism topping 73 trillion VND (3.13 billion USD).

Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of the People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong said the city must make greater efforts to achieve its target of 8.3-8.5 percent economic growth this year.

The city still faces many challenges such as illegal constructions; shortcomings in resolving cases related to land, site clearance and compensation; problems related to waste management and environmental protection, African swine fever; and rising drug crimes.

He called on the heads of government agencies and district leaders to focus on accomplishing eight major missions this year.

They include administrative reform, investment promotion, equitisation of State-owned enterprises, urban planning and management, clearing obstacles to speed up the progress of key projects, science-technology-innovation development, international cooperation, and ensuring national defence and security and maintaining social order and safety.

The city would continue two projects on developing logistics and e-commerce, he added.

Earlier at a meeting on July 17, the city has committed to develop a detailed plan to turn it into a regional and international financial hub after years of delay.

As an international financial hub, HCM City, which contributes 45 percent of the country’s GDP, would enhance socio-economic growth locally, nationally and regionally.

A feasibility report on the plan would be submitted to the People’s Council in October.

By June 2020, the city is expected to start building a financial centre complex in the Thu Thiem new urban area in district 2.

The city will also report to the Prime Minister by the end of the year on a special incentive policy for the project.

The city accounts for only 9.36 percent of the country's population and 0.6 percent of the country’s total area, but it contributes 14 percent of the country’s export value and 27 percent of State revenue. It also accounts for 14.1 percent of the country’s total foreign investment.-VNA