Authorities from the northern port city of Hai Phong on June 12 met with hundreds of businesses operating there to help them overcome difficulties and improve the investment climate.

Representatives from the 350 firms petitioned for an array of issues relating to credit interest rate, administrative formalities and taxation policy, while sharing experience in various fields, such as tyre manufacturing and ship building.

Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Duong Anh Dien said specific measures to iron out difficulties for businesses must be taken.

The city will also take into consideration the opening of direct flights from Cat Bi international airport to Japan to make it easier for foreign investors’ business, Dien said.

Hai Phong, the third largest city in Vietnam, plays an important role in the country’s sea transport network. It is striving to become a green port city by 2020.

So far this year, the city’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth has been estimated at 7.27 percent, the highest level in three recent years.

In the provincial competitiveness index (PCI), it leaped 35 places to the 15 th position nationwide. It has so far attracted 496.5 million USD in foreign direct investment (FDI), 1.8 times over the previous year.

In 2013, Hai Phong drew nearly 30 FDI projects totaling almost 2 billion USD in registered capital, a year-on-year increase of over 60 percent.

It expects to attract about 1.2 billion USD in FDI in 2014.-VNA