PM: HCM City must regain position as economic locomotive of country hinh anh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City must regain the position as the locomotive of the national economy, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at a video conference with key officials of the southern economic hub on May 8.

While lauding the city for its drastic efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and new business models, the Government leader said the local economic growth of 1.03 percent in the first quarter of the year is too low.

He affirmed the city’s important role and position in the national economic and asked it to make greater efforts in socio-economic development.

The Prime Minister appreciated the resolve of the city’s Party organisation, administration and people to strive for a growth rate of over 6 percent in 2020, saying that if Ho Chi Minh City is able to achieve this target, the national economy could grow 5 percent, the highest in the region.

Prime Minister Phuc also urged the city to accelerate the disbursement public investment capital, saying that its low disbursement could be a bottleneck in socio-economic development.

Highlighting the advantage as a safe destination for investment of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City in particular, the Prime Minister asked the city to seize the golden opportunity to attract investment, especially hi-tech investment projects.

Touching upon outstanding problems in the city, Prime Minister Phuc pointed to its dropping position in PCI (Provincial Competitiveness Index) rankings. Other issues that need prompt attention included serious traffic congestion, air pollution, flooding, and threats to social order such as robbery and burglary.

Regarding directions and tasks for the time ahead, he required the city to quickly take measures to address difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and improve its competitive capacity and business environment.

The Government leader also set the orientation for the southern economic hub to become a modern, smart and green city.

The municipal People’s Committee reported that the main tasks for the city will be continuing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic while implementing a plan to support enterprises until the end of the year. The plan focuses on helping enterprises maintain production and business activities while ensuring safety, cut production costs, renovate technology and restore production after the pandemic.

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./.