|Nguyen Van Linh Boulevard in District 7, HCM City. Localities have been called on to effectively co-ordinate on the implementation of the city's master plan. — VNA/VNS Photo Kim Phuong
DONG NAI (VNS)— The wider HCM City metropolitan region needs a co-ordinating agency to ensure the quality of economic development, said Deputy Minister of Construction Phan Thi My Linh.
The master plan for the region, which consists of HCM City and seven neighbouring provinces across an area of 30,400 square kilometers, was approved by the Prime Minister in 2008.
Covering the seven southern provinces of Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Long An and Tien Giang, the plan aims for the region to be one of the main engines for sustainable economic development in the country, as well as an economic center of Southeast Asia and Asia by 2050.
Speaking at a recent meeting to discuss the master plan's implementation, the deputy minister said that localities in the region still didn't co-operate effectively on implementing the plan.
For example, major infrastructure in the region has yet to receive synchronous investment, with insufficient investment in rural areas resulting in imbalanced sustainable development between rural and urban areas.
"Each province had their own development plan, leading to most economic zones in the region calling for investment in the same industries without adequately mobilising each area's advantages," an official said.
The chairman of the Dong Nai Province People's Committee, Dinh Quoc Thai, stressed"This can reduce the competitiveness of the economic zones and the whole region."
"We need clear orientation and co-ordination to develop the region," he further said.
Deputy director of the province's Construction Department Ly Thanh Phuong said poor co-operation could be seen in major transport projects in the region, which suffered from a lack of information and inconsistent designs.
"This in turn led to problems related to securing investment and gaining investors' trust," he noted.
Vice chairman of the HCM City People's Committee Le Manh Ha said that although a regional master plan was approved, the city and other provinces already have their own development plans.
He pointed out that HCM City attracted a large amount of migrants from neighbouring provinces who come to the city to work or for health services, so the city had to prepare to meet the demands of both its residents and migrants.
Vice chairman of Lam Dong Province People's Committee Nguyen Van Yen said a monitoring agency could help to identify and allocate resources to implement the master plan.
According to the Construction Ministry, HCM City Region now has a population of 18 million, accounting for 20 per cent of the country's total. It is the most developed economic zone in Viet Nam with a GDP accounting for 60 per cent of the national figure.
The city, as the main driver of the region, is expected to have a population of 20-22 million people by 2020 including 16-17 million living in urban areas.
With the current urbanisation rate of over 53 per cent, the region faces overloading of its infrastructure and other social and environmental issues.
Major projects in the region currently being implemented include the HCM City-Long Thanh – Dau Giay Expressway, Long Thanh International Airport in Dong Nai Province and the Bien Hoa –Vung Tau Expressway. — VNS