At the conference (Source: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – The council of the southern key economic zone for the 2015-2016 tenure convened a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on August 12 to discuss further upgrading transport and regional connectivity.

Authorities of localities in the southern key economic zone shared the view that transport routes such as the Ho Chi Minh City – Trung Luong, and Ho Chi Minh City – Long Thanh – Dau Giay highways, which have been put into operation, have contributed to increasing trade and travel between Ho Chi Minh City and regional localities.

They agreed to build new financial and budget mechanisms in order to develop Ho Chi Minh City into a financial hub for the country and Southeast Asia, as well as consider launching a regional investment fund to speed up regional transport connectivity.

Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong, who is also Chairman of the council, said the city will host a conference to discuss specific solutions to regional transport infrastructure in the near future.

Deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Ngoc Dong suggested the council propose mechanisms on rallying resources and site clearance to strengthen transport connectivity.

In order to further uphold the zone’s role, Vice Chairman of the Binh Duong provincial People’s Committee Mai Hung Dung called attention to transport, environment pollution and human resources training.

The southern key economic zone groups Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Long An and Tien Giang provinces.

Accounting for 8 percent of the country’s area and 17 percent of the nation’s population, the zone contributes 60 percent of the State budget and absorbing more than 50 percent of the country’s total foreign direct investment.

In 2011-2014, regional growth hit 10.2 percent, while the country overall reached 5.7 percent.

The region’s economic structure is shifting to services rather than agro-forestry-fisheries, industry and construction. The investment climate has been improving.-VNA