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City firms diversify import sources

Update: December, 01/2014 - 08:04

The Spanish Government has pledged to provide 3.4 million euros ($4.24 million) for a feasibility study for construction of HCM City's metro line No 5, work on which is scheduled to start in 2016 to make it operational by 2019. — File Photo

Compiled by Le Hung Vong

HCM CITY (VNS) — Based companies have diversified their sources of import of materials and equipment for production lines to become less dependent on certain markets, a meeting to review HCM City's socio-economic performance this year by the People's Committee heard on Thursday.

In a report tabled at the meeting, deputy director of the city Department of Planning and Investment, Tran Thi Binh Minh, noted that imports from China had plunged by 46.5 per cent this year.

Overall imports rose by 8.7 per cent to nearly US$33.5 billion. The major items were materials and equipment for production including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and materials for the textile and garment and footwear industries.

Imports from Israel rose by 132.6 per cent, from Singapore by 77 per cent, and from South Korea by 54 per cent.

The city's exports too rose, going up nearly 10 per cent to $31.2 billion.

Shipments to Indonesia rose by 664 per cent, to Taiwan by 371 per cent, to Singapore by 191 per cent, to Hong Kong by 175 per cent, and to Switzerland and Denmark by more than 132 per cent.

City authorities had been fearing a decline in exports by as much as $310 million this year due to the tensions in the East Sea.

According to the chairman of city People's Committee, Le Hoang Quan, the increasing imports and exports and higher tax collections indicate an improved performance by city-based enterprises.

He said every effort would be made to achieve economic growth of 9.7 per cent this year rather than the previously targeted 9.5 per cent.

He said in the next few months authorities would monitor implementation of plans to reduce prices by transport operators and traditional markets following the series of recent fuel price cuts.

Spain to fund feasibility study for HCM City metro line

The Spanish Government has pledged to provide 3.4 million euros ($4.24 million) for a feasibility study for construction of HCM City's metro line No 5, work on which is scheduled to start in 2016 to make it operational by 2019.

This was announced by Maria Aparici Gonzalez, head of the Europe, Asia and Oceania Trade Policy Department at the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competition Capacity, at a meeting with the deputy chairwoman of the HCM City People's Committee, Nguyen Thi Hong, last Tuesday.

The HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) is expected to do a feasibility study for the metro line to run from Bay Hien Intersection in Tan Binh District to Sai Gon Bridge next month, according to its deputy chief, Le Khac Huynh.

Besides the funding, the Spanish Government would also provide other support for the project, Gonzalez said.

She added that a commercial counseller would work with MAUR to discuss issues related to the study and bidding for the project.

The route will cost $1.3 billion ($1.62 billion) to build.

Besides a loan of 200 million euros from the Spanish Government, the Asian Development Bank and the European Investment Bank will also provide credit for the project.

Meanwhile, work has started on the 18km metro line No.1 linking Ben Thanh Market (in District 1) with Suoi Tien Theme Park (District 9).

Metro line No.2 linking Ben Thanh Market with Tham Luong Bus Station in District 12 will be completed in 2019, one year later than planned due to adjustments in the basic design and slow land acquisition, MAUR said.

Hong said Spain had invested in 13 projects in HCM City while its trade with the city amounted to 300 million euros as of October. — VNS

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