HCM City’s industrial production index hits five-year high hinh anh 1HCM City’s industrial production index hits five-year high of 6.24 percent in Quarter 1. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City witnessed expansion of industrial activities in the first quarter of this year, recording a 6.24 percent rise in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), the highest level in the past five years.

According to the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, the industrial processing and manufacturing inched up 6.1 percent, and four key industries (mechanics; food processing; chemicals, plastics and rubber; and electronics and information technology)  grew 6.82 percent.

Meanwhile, revenue from retail sales and services surpassed 286.3 trillion VND (12.32 billion USD), up 12.87 percent from the same time last year.

During the period, the city generated 9 billion USD from exports, surging 5.7 percent year on year, while its imports increased 1.3 percent to 10.84 billion USD.

Deputy Director of the Department of Industry and Trade Nguyen Phuong Dong gave a bright outlook for the domestic retail sales in the second quarter as local firms have received many new orders.

Dong said domestic retailers are in fierce competition with foreign giants to gain market share while free trade deals put pressure on local manufacturers as they have to fight to maintain their competitive edge over foreign rivals who will penetrate the market once the agreements take effect.

To that end, the department pledged to step up administrative reform, work with local firms to remove their bottlenecks and measure citizens and businesses’ satisfaction with local public services.

In addition, it has worked to develop e-commerce, carry out market stabilisation programmes and hold conferences to connect suppliers and buyers in the industrial and trade sectors.

The department also plans to work with competent authorities to branch out key and potential industrial products, and outline policies to help investors expand their businesses.-VNA