HCM City speeds up disbursement of public funds to fuel growth hinh anh 1The construction site of Thu Thiem 2 Bridge in HCM City (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Districts and sectors in HCM City have been requested to ensure at least 80 percent of this year’s public funds are disbursed by October 15 and to raise the rate to over 95 percent by year’s end, as the city has committed to the Government.

At a meeting on the local socio-economic situation in the first half of 2020, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong said the city recorded economic growth of just 2 percent in the period, as the service sector, which accounts for 60 percent of gross regional domestic product, was heavily affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Growth was 7.86 percent in the same period last year.

Though HCM City is home to up to half of all businesses nationwide, 90 percent of local firms are small- and medium-sized enterprises, which are more vulnerable to the pandemic’s impact.

Identifying solutions for the second half, Phong told leaders of local departments, sectors, and districts to focus on disbursing public investment, which he said will stimulate overall economic demand, noting that strong disbursement will facilitate growth.

The chairman also stressed that the city must manage to perform the dual tasks of preventing the return of COVID-19 and recovering its economy, and directed authorities to strongly support businesses.

In the first six months, total retail sales of goods and services reached 614.59 trillion VND (26.5 billion USD), down 3.7 percent year-on-year. Accommodation, food, and travel service providers also saw revenue decline.

Several indexes, however, still recorded positive performance, such as export turnover rising 5.8 percent year-on-year to about 20.7 billion USD and banking activities posting slight growth, according to Director of the municipal Planning and Investment Le Thi Huynh Mai./.

Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam and the economic hub of the southern region. Accounting for 0.6 percent of Vietnam’s total land area and about 9 percent of the country’s population, it is part of the southern key economic zone, which also comprises Dong Nai, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Long An, Tay Ninh and Binh Phuoc provinces. In the southern economic hub, over 3,000 projects across all sectors are supported by foreign capital, while the number of registered enterprises has exceeded 100,000. 

In 2019, the city attracted 8.3 billion USD worth of foreign investment, with its labour productivity being nearly three times that of the whole country (299.8 million VND per person, an increase of 6.8 percent over 2018).

Meanwhile, the total number of international visitors to the city reached 8.5 million, a year-on-year increase of 14 percent with revenues up by 14.5 percent over 2018

The local gross regional domestic product (GRDP) reached more than 1.34 quadrillion VND, an 8.32 percent increase year-on-year. 

Before the outbreak of COVID-19, the city set a target of achieving a growth rate of 8.5 percent for GRDP in 2020, with total private investment accounting for 35 percent of GRDP.

This year, HCM City also aims to have 44,000 new businesses, creating 135,000 new jobs./.