Ho Chi Minh City to have more financial and administrative independence: PM

By    June 28, 2016 | 01:18 am PT
Ho Chi Minh City is striving to develop into a smart and dynamic part of Asia, to become the talent hub of the country where investors and start-ups flock together, and to thrive on a sustainable market-based economy, said the PM on Monday at a meeting with the city’s leaders.

“Ho Chi Minh City covers just 0.6 percent of the country, but is home to around 8 million people or roughly 6.6 percent of the population and contributes 22 percent to Vietnam’s gross domestic product, and up to 30 percent of the state budget,” the government's online news portal quoted the Prime Minister as saying.

The city’s economy has expanded an estimated 7.47 percent in the first half of 2016, and is set to grow by 8-8.5 percent this year.

Vietnam’s gross domestic product rose 5.52 percent in the first six months of the year, down from the same period last year due mainly to adverse weather conditions, the General Statistics Office said in a report on Tuesday.

Ho Chi Minh City, which is dynamic, brash and commercial, feels more like Bangkok and less like the quiet northern capital Hanoi.

“The city is 30 percent larger than Bangkok with the same population. However, the city’s economic growth is about a third of Bangkok's,” said the Prime Minister, referring to the fact that Bangkok attracts 3.6 times more international tourists than Ho Chi Minh City.


Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc says Ho Chi Minh City must become the pearl of the East Sea. Photo by Quang Hieu

Prime Minister Phuc suggested the southern commercial hub boost its economic growth with a focus on technological innovations and high-value services.

The city must become “the pearl of the East Sea”, added the Prime Minister.

Ho Chi Minh City, in order to realize its full potential and lead the country’s economic reform, should be given more freedom to act on its own.

Municipal authorities have asked for Ho Chi Minh City to have more control over its own fiscal budget, retaining more of its budget revenue for development projects.

“The Politburo has agreed to delegate more financial and administrative powers to Ho Chi Minh City. In terms of public financial management, the city will have more budget independence, including more control over budget revenue and investment projects. [In terms of administrative management], the city can make its own decisions on human resources and [functional] organizations,” the Prime Minister said.

He added that in some areas where the government has not adopted regulatory measures, Ho Chi Minh City has been encouraged to experiment.

Ho Chi Minh City reached annual growth of 9.85 percent last year, much higher than the country’s average GDP at 6.68 percent. According to the city’s development goal, it plans to transform itself into the country's main social and economic drive.

Related News:

>HCMC Party chief: The City must become Shanghai-style special economic zone

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>Vietnam sets economic targets for 2017

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