Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s southern commercial hub, recorded an impressive economic growth rate of 10.3 percent in the third quarter of 2013, up 0.7 percent against the same period last year.

The city’s index of industrial production in the first nine months of this year rose by 6 percent year-on-year thanks to an expansion in production scale.

Leather and related products, medicine, rubber and plastics were among the industries with high year-on-year growth rates, 10.9 percent, 11.2 percent and 10 percent respectively.

By the end of September, the city’s total budget collection hit nearly 165.7 trillion VND (7.9 billion USD), fulfilling 69.51 percent of the yearly target and 7 percent higher than the same period last year.

Nguyen Phuong Dong, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, attributed the results to the city’s prompt measures to remove difficulties for businesses.

Since the beginning of the year, Ho Chi Minh City has hosted seven direct dialogues with 1,375 businesses on tax, labour and social insurance, and finance and banking, he said, adding that trade and investment promotion activities have been held regularly to help businesses advertise their trademarks and expand markets.

Despite promising signals, the city still faces many difficulties due to the turmoil in the global economy, large inventories and a stagnant property market, said Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Hoang Quan.

In the remaining months of 2013 and the following years, local authorities must drastically implement socio-economic development measures, with priority to be given to solving difficulties for businesses, he stressed.

He said that the city will prioritise loans for the production of exported goods, processing and support industries, and labour-intensive small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Relevant agencies should take measures to develop the market, assist businesses sell their products and reduce inventories, especially in the property sector, Quan added.-VNA