A corner of Ho Chi Minh City (Source: VNA)  
 
Paris (VNA) – A conference promoting trade and investment in Ho Chi Minh City took place in Paris on October 8, attracting over 60 firms from France and abroad.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) Cao Thi Phi Van highlighted the strengths and potential of Vietnam, and Ho Chi Minh City in particular, towards attracting foreign investment.

She said that Vietnam has achieved an average growth of 6.22 percent over the past five years, joined 12 bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements, and negotiated six FTAs with more than 100 countries, adding that its open policies have attracted many foreign investors.

Ho Chi Minh City, she stated, is an economic, cultural, education-training, science-technology hub in the southern key economic region and a trade centre in the region.

With an area of 2,095 sq.km, accounting for 0.63 percent of the country’s total and a population of more than 10 million people (or 10.68 percent of the total), the city now contributes 31 percent of the national gross domestic product, one third of the State budget, one fifth of the country’s total exports, half of the foreign tourist arrivals, and 30 percent of the total foreign direct investment projects in Vietnam.

Last year, the city was the first locality to become eligible for special mechanisms approved by the National Assembly and Government, she said.

Chairman of the Paris Ile-de-France regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIP IDF) Didier Kling affirmed that the CCIP IDF will work closely with the ITPC to facilitate French investment in Ho Chi Minh City.

He said that Ho Chi Minh City boasts many strengths to attract investment and will become an important economic and trade hub in ASEAN.

According to him, over 300 French firms are doing business in Vietnam, 70 percent of which are in Ho Chi Minh City. He added that they are highly anticipating the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, which will take effect in June 2019.

At the conference, the ITPC introduced the city’s high-tech agriculture area, export processing and industrial zones, Japan’s Takenaka Corporation, and opportunities to join local projects.

Participants gained an insight into Vietnam’s policies and mechanisms for foreign firms which have been investing and will invest in the city. –VNA