Viet Nam News
HCM City – HCM City authorities told members of the foreign community at a meeting on last Saturday that they warmly welcomed foreign investment that has significantly contributed to the city’s sustainable and rapid growth.
Speaking at a meeting with city leaders and foreign investors, the city’s Party Secretary Nguyễn Thiện Nhân said that HCM City was striving to improve the business environment for foreign investors.
Last year, the city achieved economic growth of 8.25 per cent, 1.25 times higher than the national average, with a contribution of 22 per cent to the national budget.
“The business environment has been improved greatly. In 2017, there were 41,629 newly established enterprises with total registered capital of VNĐ604 trillion (US$26.5 billion),” Nhân said.
Thanks to administrative reform, there were 845 foreign projects with total registered capital of US$6.6 billion, an increase of 90 per cent in comparison with 2016.
“The city greatly appreciates the contributions of foreign-invested companies to the socio-economic development of the city and we hope foreign companies will promote technology transfer,” he added.
However, the Party Secretary also noted that the city faces a number of problems.
“Overloaded infrastructure, outdated transport system, and a rapid population increase, as well as the serious impact of climate change, have hindered sustainable and rapid development,” he said.
This year will be the first to implement the National Assembly’s Resolution 54 which calls for special financial mechanism and policy for the city.
“The city will strengthen the policy and better use different resources,” Nhân stressed.
“The city will also give priority to the satisfaction of local resident and business community in development and effective serve of the city’s administrative system.”
“I have instructed the municipal People’s Committee to receive, study and apply all opinions and contributions from local residents and foreign and domestic business communities for development,” he added.
“I hope the foreign business community will contribute to the development of the city by providing ideas, technology, modern management skills, and business culture,” he said.
John Rockhold, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Việt Nam (Amcham), said that US enterprises were ready to share experiences in developing a smart city.
Amcham, in collaboration with the US Consulate, with support from the Ministry of Information and Communications, has established the US - Việt Nam Smart City Industry Association with 30 professional members in urban master planning, software, hardware, energy, and waste treatment.
Nicolas Audier, chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Việt Nam (EuroCham), promised that EuroCham promote Việt Nam to European and international friends.
“EuroCham hopes that HCM City will have a more open policy and transparency and move toward sustainable development. High-ranking officials must increase their skill level to meet changing situations, especially for Resolution 54,” he said.
Michele D’Ercole, chairman of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Việt Nam (Icham), praised the smart city project.
“The Week of the Smart City is annually organized in Trento in Italy where HCM City leaders can learn about challenges when building a smart city,” he said.
“The city should carefully consider present and future demands of the local community in urban development,” he said.
Kim Heung Soo, chairman of the Korean Chamber of Commerce in Việt Nam, announced that investment and trade relations between Việt Nam and South Korea have strongly developed.
South Korea now has over 6,600 projects with a combined capital of $58.1 billion and bilateral trade turnover among the two nations is expected to reach $100 billion by 2020.
“All of this was done thanks to great efforts from Việt Nam in general and HCM City in particular to improve the business environment,” he added.
He said that authorities should try to ensure social insurance benefits to foreign workers, pay more attention to logistics, digitalise all regions of the country, and use information technology in tax and customs procedures.
“Việt Nam has become a key investment destination of Thailand investors,” Saranya Skontanarak, chairwoman of the Thailand Chamber of Commerce in Việt Nam (TBA), said.
By 2017, Thailand invested in 489 projects with a total capital of $9 billion in Việt Nam.
More than 200 representatives of foreign-invested companies took part in the meeting. – VNS