Workers make wooden furniture at May Man Company in HCM City. Economists say private firms, both local and international, have been crucial to the city's rapid development. — VNA/VNS Photo Kim Phuong
HCM CITY — Private investment has been a key factor in HCM City's development in recent years .
Vietnamese and international investors have made large improvements in the city's transport infrastructure, housing, clean water supplies and waste management, according to experts and municipal departments.
Domestic and foreign companies invested a total of VND12.4 trillion (US$654 million) in the city's transport projects in 2007-09, more than twice the city's transport budget, the director of the Department of Transport, Tran Quang Phuong, said.
The city's road density now is 1.75km of road per square kilometre, a 50 per cent increase compared to before 2005.
Four million square metres of roads and 84 bridges have been built since 2005, according to city figures.
It has been a combined effort from city authorities, departments, sectors and private investors at home and abroad, Phuong said.
The privately invested Ong Lanh and Phu My bridges have made a large improvement to the traffic in the city, he said.
Bui Xuan Cuong, deputy director of the city Department of Transport, said most of the city's current major transport projects are the product of private investment, including Ha Noi Highway expansion project worth VND2.2 trillion, Rach Chieu Bridge project worth VND800 billion, the Tan Son Nhat – Binh Loi – Vanh Dai belt road project worth more than VND1 trillion and Cat Lai seaport project worth VND600 billion.
If all these projects had to wait for the State budget, who knows when they would be completed, Cuong said, adding that the city budget for roads this year was only VND2 trillion.
In the housing sector, the city has built a total of 33.3 million square metres of housing in 2005-10, exceeding the city's target by 4 per cent.
The contribution to new housing by association members and private home owners is very large, accounting for about 90 per cent of the total, said Le Hoang Quan, chairman of the city Real Estate Association,
Most new residential areas in District 7, 9, Thu Duc, Tan Binh and Tan Phu are built by private investors, he said.
Since 2002, the city has strengthened calls for capital sources from all economic sectors to invest in clean water supply.
About 90 per cent of the city's residents have access to clean water for their daily use and privately invested water plants treat about one- third of it.
Private plants include the Binh An BOT water supply plant, the Thu Duc BOO water supply plant and Can Gio Water Plant.
City authorities treat slightly more than half of the city's 6,000 tonnes of household waste a day at Phuoc Hiep Waste Treatment Complex in Cu Chi District with the privately owned Da Phuoc Waste Treatment Area of the foreign invested Viet Nam Waste Solutions in Binh Chanh District handling the remainder.
Dao Anh Kiet, director of the city Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said thanks to the private sector the city could boost its waste treatment capacity by 10 per cent a year to cope with yearly increases. — VNS