Making news

Hanoi devises three scenarios to cushion impacts of COVID-19

Hanoi authorities outlined three scenarios during an online meeting on April 6, in an effort to offset losses caused by the COVID-19.

The meeting discussed the city’s socio-economic development in the first quarter and its efforts in the fight against the pandemic.

If it is brought under control soon, the city hopes to resume growth in the second quarter and speed up in the latter half of 2020 so it could gain growth of 7.5 percent, meeting the goal set previously.

In case the pandemic is repelled in the third quarter but negative economic impacts linger on, Hanoi will strive for a growth rate of 6.42 percent.

In a worst economic growth scenario with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact the city until the year's end, the city forecasts a growth rate of 5.35 percent, thus failing to meet the initial target.

At the meeting, Director of the municipal Planning and Investment Department Nguyen Manh Quyen said the city maintained positive economic growth in the first quarter of 3.72 percent in gross regional domestic product (GRDP). The rate in the same period last year was 6.95 percent.

As much as 63 trillion VND (2.7 billion USD) of development investment was disbursed in the period, a quarter-to-quarter increase of 5.2 percent while that of the same period last year was 10.5 percent.

The city attracted 927.4 million USD in foreign investment while domestic investment was 7.14 trillion VND.

About 6,350 companies were established in the city in January-March with a combined registered capital of 103 trillion VND, 1 percent higher in quantity and 98 percent higher in capital value compared with Q1 2019.

Hanoi is now home to 6,102 FDI projects with total registered capital hitting 42.75 billion USD, of which 26.5 billion USD has been disbursed.

The city collected about 71.4 trillion VND in revenues for its budget, accounting for 25.6 percent of this year’s expected volume.

“The pandemic has put the city under high pressure to meet its socio-economic development goals,” Quyen said, adding that the price consumer index tended to be higher than last year, particularly food.

With three economic growth scenarios introduced, he said the city will devise an action plan to support business and production, as well as to ensure social welfare in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Among economic recovery efforts, the city will push forward administration reforms by simplifying procedures, shortening time spent on procedures and expanding the catalogue of public administration services available online.

It will also encourage the production of medical supplies, including face masks, anti-antibacterial products, ventilators and testing kits to deal with the developments of the pandemic.

In its action plan, Hanoi will review its public expenditure for more effective spending, with a plan to cut spending by 5 percent this year.

Other key tasks are to maintain urban infrastructure and speed up clean water supply projects and solid waste treatment projects.

At this time, the city will focus on disease prevention and control. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it will strive to prevent any other disease, especially human ones, from occurring in the season-changing period to avoid further strains on public health./.