The working session between officials of HCM City and the World Bank in Washington DC on December 15 (Photo: VNA)

Washington DC (VNA) – A high-ranking delegation of Ho Chi Minh City had a working session with leaders of the World Bank (WB) in Washington DC, the US, on December 15, seeking for the institution’s support in many fields.

Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan appreciated the WB’s assistance to his city and Vietnam over the past years.

With a population of more than 10 million, HCM City needs a new economic model to meet its development demand. It plans to build a centre for research, simulation and forecasting of economic development strategies which is a rather new term in Vietnam but will play an important role in making plans for the city in the future.

He expressed his hope that the WB will consider and suggest ideas for the centre construction and introduce experienced agencies and organisations which HCM City can cooperate with.

He noted that his city also wants the WB to help assess and organise workshops on public spending, build the city’s budget plans from 2019, and evaluate public feedback on the quality of administrations’ services.

The HCM City delegation’s visit also aims to learn from the US’s experience in startup promotion, Nhan noted, adding that they had had a working session on this topic with the MIT Sloan School of Management.

The official also asked for the WB’s assistance for Vietnam to solve issues facing the Mekong Delta region, which has been suffering from serious subsidence, erosion, and saltwater intrusion.

Victoria Kwakwa, WB Regional Vice President for East Asia and Pacific, said the bank can help to promote the city’s development.

[HCM City highly appreciates WB’s support]

It can send working groups to HCM City to discuss and assist the city in devising concrete solutions relevant to the assessment of public spending effectiveness and public feedback on local administrations’ services, she said.

That HCM City is seeking ways to promote startups, thus creating more jobs, is a right direction, she added.

At the working session, WB experts and HCM City officials also looked into such issues as urban planning, smart city building, and innovation. 

The experts shared the view that it is necessary to build HCM City into a smart city, and with its capacity and experience, the WB can connect HCM City with many smart cities around the world so that the city can learn from their experience.

Also on December 15, the HCM City officials had a working session with the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

At the event, the municipal People’s Committee and the IFC signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation. This document aims to set up feasible steps that can lead to the two sides’ cooperation in upgrading and expanding infrastructure in HCM City by diversifying local administrations’ capital sources through the IFC’s provision of financial tools and non-refundable technical consultancy services for the municipal People’s Committee.

The same day, the Vietnamese delegation took part in a discussion with researchers from the Global Cities Initiative of the Brookings Institution.-VNA