|HCM City. — Photo bizlive
HCM CITY (VNS) — HCM City achieved robust economic growth in the first eight months, creating favourable conditions to fulfill its socio-economic targets for the full year, Chairman of HCM City's People's Committee, Le Hoang Quan, has said.
Speaking at a Committee's meeting yesterday, Quan said it provided economic figures for the period.
According to a report from HCM City's Department of Planning and Investment, the city's retail sales and services were worth over US$420.7 billion, a 12.7 per cent year-on-year rise. The biggest contributors to growth were household utensils, fuel, and transportation.
Exports totalled $18.56 billion, an increase of 2.3 per cent following August shipments of $2.24 billion.
Imports jumped 10.8 per cent in August though, at $15.6 billion, the value for the year-to-date fell 9.1 per cent.
Major decreases were reported in steel, milk and dairy products, computers, and electronics and components.
Imports from China dropped by 7.4 per cent in the first eight months while exports rose by 15.4 per cent.
The Industrial Production Index has been rising consistently this year with some major sectors like mechanical engineering, electronics, chemicals-rubber-plastics, and food processing reporting a 7.5 per cent increase year-on-year.
The city plans to restructure these industries by focusing on processing and manufacturing and reducing the contribution of mining.
So far this year city authorities have issued licences to 241 projects with a total investment of $1.06 billion, a 7.3 per cent decrease in number but an 80.3 per cent jump in value.
City's support for businesses
Chairman Quan lauded the figures, saying they indicated the great efforts made by the authorities and people.
But links between the banking system and businesses, especially those taking part in the city's price stabilisation programme, must be strengthened, he said.
Banks had unveiled plans to reduce loan interest rates, and this offered an opportunity for companies to boost production, he said.
However, credit growth in the city remained low — at about 4.7 per cent against a target of 10-15 per cent – he said.
Growth in foreign trade was not as high as expected, he added.
Tran Anh Tuan, deputy head of the HCM City Institute for Research and Development, said despite the decrease in import of technology-related products like computers and electronics and components, the big expansion in import of machinery and equipment and chemicals indicated the sectors' low competitiveness.
As of 20 August the city had issued licences to 15,071 new businesses, but 14,200 existing ones suspended operations, he said.
In the final four months of the year the city should help businesses cope with their challenges by providing financial and technological support, he said.
City authorities were expected to introduce more new policies and incentives to help businesses and improve the competitiveness of the city's industries. — VNS