|A supermarket in HCM City. The city’s total retail sales of goods and services increased by 12.7 per cent in the first half of the year. — VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — HCM City’s industrial production grew by 7 per cent in the first half of the year, almost exactly the same as a year ago, according to the city Department of Industry and Trade.
However, the index of industrial production (IIP) of the city’s four key sectors, food processing, chemical-rubber-plastics, mechanics, and electronics, saw an increase of 5.5 per cent, much lower than the 9.5 per cent growth achieved in the same period of 2018.
Speaking at a meeting to review the city’s industrial and trading sectors on July 22, Trần Anh Hào, head of the department’s industrial management division, said of the four key sectors, the electronics sector saw the highest growth rate of 28.3 per cent.
The mechanical sector was up 3 per cent, while the food processing sector shrunk by 2.6 per cent as against 10.7 per cent growth the previous year.
Hào attributed the decline in the food and foodstuff sector to the fact that some large companies had been shifting their plants to neighbouring provinces, which were offering competitive land rentals and other incentives.
"With land prices in the city being higher than in neighbouring provinces, businesses tend to move out some of their labour-intensive production, only keeping high value-added production here," he explained.
“There is no shortage of land in the city’s industrial parks, but the plots range from 5ha to 10ha. So those businesses that need 30-40ha for their factories find it hard to find land in the city.”
Another factor affecting the sector is the African swine fever epidemic, which has hit demand for meat products.
This year the department planned to organise fairs to help enterprises promote consumption of their products, he said.
Its officials would regularly meet with industry executives to address their difficulties in a timely manner.
The city government had instructed the HCM City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority to get 400ha of land ready to attract investment in priority sectors.
Nguyễn Nguyên Phương, head of the department’s trading management division, said retail sales of goods and services in the city in the first half were worth an estimated VNĐ574.98 trillion (US$24.75 million), an increase of 12.7 per cent year-on-year.
Sales through modern channels were increasing and now accounted for 25-30 per cent of the city’s total retail sales, higher than the national average of 20-25 per cent, he said.
Steady economic growth, increasing per capita income and customers’ trust in the modern trade channel’s quality management were among the factors boosting supermarkets’ sales, he said.
The city has 239 traditional markets, 205 supermarkets, 46 shopping malls, and 2,360 convenience stores. — VNS