The HCM City administration targets limiting the poverty rate below 5.4 percent and unemployment to less than 5 percent this year.

During a meeting on Jan. 6, city leaders also set the targets of per capita GDP of 3,000 USD for this year.

According to the city government, last year poverty reduction policies were highly successful, supporting many people who lived under the poverty line.

The deputy head of the city People's Committee, Nguyen Thanh Tai, said the city reached its goals by fulfilling its policies on human resources, the environment and other areas.

For the economy, the city plans to have a GDP growth rate of 12 percent this year, to 24 billion USD.

Export turnover, excluding crude oil exports, will increase 9 percent. The growth of the consumer price index will be kept under 7 percent.

On social issues, the population growth rate will be kept under 1 percent and the rate of malnutrition in children under five years of age will be below 5 percent.

Besides several important socio-economic targets, projects for children will also be realised this year, as the city has chosen 2011 as the year for children.

The city will conduct a survey on possible entertainment places for children and 10 playgrounds in the city's major parks. They are expected to be built this year.

At the meeting, six groups of solutions on the economy, urban development, education, culture, administration reform and national defence were discussed in detail.

According to the chairman of the municipal People's Committee, Le Hoang Quan, in 2011 the city will continue to implement measures to speed up its economic restructuring in the direction of services, industry and agriculture.

The city will also focus on measures to stabilise and develop production and business, expand markets, and boost exports and activities of financial services, real estate, securities and gold markets.

One of the city's most important tasks this year will be to reduce the consumer price index, especially for the upcoming Lunar New Year.

At the 9th HCM City Party Committee meeting also held the same day, city leaders approved the target of growing at 50 percent above the national average over the next decade and agreed on the things needed to be done to achieve the goal.

The meeting also discussed the shortcomings in the city's development process and measures to address them.

Growth quality and efficiency remained low while restructuring of the economy and reform of the labour sector were proceeding at a snail's pace, delegates admitted.

They agreed to prioritise nine areas, including international trade, finance, tourism, real estate, and technology.

Priority will also be given to four key industries - machinery, electronics and IT, chemistry, and food production - which will provide value addition, they said.

They agreed sustainable development of agriculture was necessary to secure the city's socio-economic growth.

They also agreed to make reform of State-owned enterprises more effective and create favourable conditions for private businesses to thrive./.