|A view of HCM City. — VNS Photo Việt Thanh
HCM CITY — National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ has praised HCM City for its socio-economic recovery, but urged it to continue its efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic while improving its business climate, supporting businesses and speeding up public spending.
Speaking at a meeting with city leaders last week, he said, “The achievement has exceeded expectations.”
But he noted, nevertheless, that to maintain its position as the country’s economic locomotive, the city must resolve problems such as traffic congestion, air pollution and flooding.
It needs to speed up delayed projects and cancel those delayed for too long.
“It is imperative to speed up the progress of major projects such as metro lines No. 1 and No. 2, flood-prevention works, Tân Sơn Nhất international airport’s third passenger terminal, and the HCM City – Mộc Bài expressway.”
It needs to accelerate public spending, he said, pointing out that last year it spent less than VNĐ30 trillion. It needs to increase the figure to VNĐ43 trillion this year.
He agreed with the city’s proposal to develop into an international financial centre.
He also said that a National Assembly resolution should replace Resolution 54 on piloting special mechanisms and policies for the city’s development that are appropriate for the new normal after COVID.
Phan Văn Mãi, chairman of the city People’s Committee, said the city contributes more than VNĐ368 trillion to the Government’s coffers, or 25-27 per cent of the total.
Last year, despite the impacts caused by the largest COVID outbreak yet, its revenues marginally exceeded the year’s target to reach VNĐ381.53 trillion ($16.81 billion).
It attracted FDI worth more than $7.23 billion last year, up 38.48 per cent year-on-year.
In the first two months of this year, its tax revenues were worth VNĐ89 trillion, or 23 per cent of the year’s target. The VNĐ2.2 trillion it collects in a day is equal to the amount some provinces get in a year.
Exports were worth $9 billion in the first two months, up 12.5 per cent year-on-year.
According to a recent survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Việt Nam, the city is leading the country in economic recovery.
Almost all of its businesses have resumed activities and are very upbeat about future prospects, it found, and attributed it to the country having one of the world’s highest vaccination rates.
Experts have warned however that the city is lagging behind other major cities in the region in terms of living quality, competitiveness and urban planning.
Its infrastructure is ageing while its human resources have failed to meet development needs, and many of its major infrastructure works are progressing too slowly, they added. — VNS