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Private sector to be driving force for HCM City’s development

The private sector will be the driving force for HCM City’s economic growth, a top municipal official has said.

Speaking at a November 29 meeting to review socio-economic development and tasks for 2020, Nguyen Thien Nhan, Secretary of the city Party Committee, said the private sector had played a crucial role in the city’s economy and should be given impetus to develop.

“The city should never depend on investment from the State, which plays a leading role in issuing policies and incentives to attract private and foreign investment,” he said. “The private sector still faces hurdles, including complicated administrative and State management procedures and confusing laws. They need fair opportunities and access to resources for development.”

According to Nhan, in 2005 the State funds in the city accounted for 32 percent, with the rest being from private and foreign enterprises. The city targets reducing the figure to 16 percent next year.

State investment will be used mostly for development of infrastructure and services, instead of basic production and business activities, according to Nhan.

HCM City is home to 372,000 private firms, contributing 63 percent of local gross domestic product (GDP) and more than 41 percent of State budget collections, he said.

The city plans to continue strengthening state management reform, infrastructure development and promotion of SMEs and start-ups.

It will also focus on key economic products, human resources, and cultural programme promotions.

The city has identified 11 projects for private investors, including transport infrastructure, sewage treatment, water supply, industrial infrastructure, and trade and services.
The municipal government plays a key role in planning and issuing policies and incentives for enterprises such as in land allocation, taxation, and marketing support.

The city plans to issue more policies on development of IT and science and technology enterprises, which will be a driving force for the knowledge-based economy and service and production.

In addition, the city authorities see enterprises’ satisfaction as an important indicator to evaluate the efficiency of administrative reforms, according to Nhan.

This year HCM City’s economic growth is estimated to be 8.32 percent, slightly higher than last year's figure of 8.3 percent.

The city’s economic scale accounts for nearly 24 percent of the national economic scale, the highest figure ever.

Total investment capital in the city accounted for 35 percent of the city’s Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP), exceeding the average target by 30 percent of the GRDP in the 2016-2020 period, he said, adding this was a good sign.

Also speaking at the event, Le Thanh Liem, Permanent Vice Chairman of the municipal  People’s Committee, said the total GRDP was expected to be 8.3 percent higher than last year. The service sector had increased by 8.59 percent.

This year, the city’s budget revenue is expected to surpass the year’s target, an increase of 9 percent over last year, according to Liêm. Total retail sales of goods and services increased by 12.1 percent over the same period.

The total number of international visitors to the city reached 8.5 million, a year-on-year increase of 14 percent with sales up by 14.5 percent over last year.

In addition, the city attracted 6.17 billion USD worth of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first ten months of this year, an increase of 3.4 percent over the same period last year, according to the Department of Planning and Investment./