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HCM City turns attention to reviving economy

Update: June, 06/2020 - 07:44
Nguyễn Thành Phong (second from left), chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, speaks at a meeting held yesterday to review the city’s socio-economic situation in the first five months. —Photo sggp.org.vn

HCM CITY — The chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee has urged agencies to have specific solutions to support enterprises as part of its effort to gradually revive business activities following the containment of the COVID -19 pandemic.

Speaking at a meeting on Thursday to review the socio-economic situation in the first five months, Nguyễn Thành Phong said the city had basically contained the outbreak and not detected any community infection for two months.

The city had entered a new normal status with the task of both containing the pandemic and reviving the economy, he said. 

The top priority would be to help businesses maintain production and avoid bankruptcy, and prevent workers from losing jobs, he said.

“We must ensure that enterprises restore production and services as soon as possible to meet domestic demand. It is important to encourage domestic production to replace imported goods and expand domestic value chains.

“In the long term, the city must focus on creating a favourable environment for businesses.”

More than 14,200 new enterprises with total registered capital of VNĐ185 trillion have been licensed in the first five months while more than 2,000 others have closed for good and 7,257 temporarily suspended operations (40 per cent up year-on-year).

Small and medium-sized enterprises, which account for 98 per cent of all enterprises, had been seriously impacted, he said.

It was also important to support start-up creation and technological innovation for production and promote the commercialisation of research products.

Lê Ngọc Thùy Trang, deputy director of the Department of Finance, said the city had a revenue target of nearly VNĐ406 trillion (US$17.46 billion) this year. 

But the pandemic hit revenues sharply in May, and they were worth only VNĐ18.2 trillion, or 56 per cent of the collection in the same period last year. 

Phong urged the Departments of Finance and Taxation and the city Customs Department to work with the Ministry of Finance to ensure revenue targets are achieved.

Trần Anh Tuấn, deputy director of the Department of Planning and Investment, said total retail sales of goods and revenues from consumer services in May were estimated to be 11.4 per cent down year-on-year to VNĐ94.3 trillion ($4.05 billion).

Retail sales of goods and services were estimated at VNĐ506.7 trillion ($21.78 billion) in the first five months, down 4.9 per cent. 

The city’s index of industrial production rose by 7.94 per cent month-on-month in May but fell by 15.5 per cent from May last year, according to the city Statistics Office.

In the first five months the sectors that achieved negative growth were metals (down 46.5 per cent), wood and bamboo and wood products (34.1 per cent), machinery and equipment (24.6 per cent), pre-fabricated metal products (22.8 per cent), and beverages (21.2 per cent).

There were some that achieved growth, including high rates, like chemicals and chemical products (up 23.2 per cent), medicines, pharmaceutical chemicals and pharmaceutical raw materials (19.4 per cent) and electronics, computers and optical products (11.8 per cent).

According to a survey done by the city Statistics Department of more than 16,300 enterprises in various industries, 49.45 per cent of enterprises affected by the pandemic thought the domestic consumer market had shrunk. Some 15.32 per cent said manufactured goods could not be sold domestically.

More than half of State-owned enterprises that export and 48.45 per cent of foreign enterprises said they had been unable to export this year. — VNS

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