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First-quarter growth raises revival hopes

Update: March, 29/2013 - 10:13

HCM CITY (VNS)— The economy in HCM City has shown positive signs in the first three months of the year as the Gross Domestic Product growth rate rose and the Consumer Price Index rate fell, Le Hoang Quan, chairman the municipal People's Committee, reported at a meeting yesterday.

He said GDP growth was 7.6 per cent during the first quarter, with the service sector recording the highest growth rate at 8.3 per cent.

"The GDP has increased only a little in the first three months, but it is a positive sign. However, economic growth is not really stable, with the potential to fall again," Quan told city officials during the meeting.

Thai Van Re, director of HCM City's Department of Planning and Investment, said the CPI fell by 0.29 per cent this month because the city had launched several price stabilisation programmes.

The first quarter's CPI rose only 1.15 per cent compared with December last year.

The figure was 2.35 per cent during the first quarter last year, Re said, adding that industrial production had also begun to recover recently.

As of March 20, 4,823 new local enterprises have been granted investment licences, with total registered charter capital of VND17.5 trillion (US$833 million).

According to a representative from the city's Department of Planning and Investment, the number of enterprises that had closed or suspended operations has fallen recently.

At least 1,830 enterprises that had once suspended operations have registered to resume business.

During the first quarter, the city granted investment licences to 63 foreign direct investment projects, with total registered capital of US$234.5 million, an increase of 207 percent of capital compared with the first quarter of 2012.

With more companies resuming operations along with newly opened businesses, the city has provided jobs to over 70,300 workers, creating roughly 30,000 new jobs in the first quarter, an increase of 0.69 percent compared with the same period last year.

According to Nguyen Thi Hong, deputy chairwoman of the municipal People's Committee, in the first quarter of 2013, the number of foreign tourists to the city was more than 1 million, a year-on-year rise of 8 per cent, and 25.6 per cent of the year's target.

The city earned tourism revenue of more than VND20.6 trillion, a year-on-year rise of 20 per cent.

During the second quarter, the city expects to reach 9 per cent GDP growth. It has set GDP growth at 9.5 per cent for the entire year.

The deputy chairman of the city's People's Committee, Hua Ngoc Thuan, said the year would pose serious challenges to the government and the people. — VNS


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