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Challenges facing HCM City in 2014
Ho Chi Minh City acknowledges meeting its 9.5–10% economic growth targets - 1.5 times the national average - will be challenging in 2014.
Although HCM City undershot its 2013 targets, the 9.3% growth rate was still 1.7 times higher than national averages. It speaks to the city’s efforts in economic restructuring and growth quality improvement.
The targets for 2014 require both major policies and small adjustments to remove difficulties restricting businesses and to develop production.
Thai Tuan Group General Director Thai Tuan Chi says the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) will benefit the garments industry, with export earnings anticipated to reach US$50 billion. But Thai Tuan Group and the sector as a whole are still examining issues related to the agreement in conferences and seminars.
Most businesses have yet to acquire the necessary knowledge regarding the TPP and the Vietnam-Japan Agreement. Only a minority of the city’s labour force is professional, requiring an effective human resource training strategy.
Chi thinks the city should fund consultancy centres with experts dispensing advice on business restructuring, cooperative strategies in competitive environments, human resources, and indirect investment flows.
Improving human resource training is one of six priority breakthroughs the Party Central Committee identified for the 2011–2015 period but results have disappointed.
HCM City recognizes the importance of capital and market access to local businesses. Credit organisations should also actively engage in addressing persistent issues.
Last year, the city helped commercial banks overcome their difficulties—now they must respond in turn.
By the end of 2013, the city had linked banks with businesses in 24 districts and provided them with loans worth VND13 trillion.
Municipal People’s Committee Vice Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Hong confirms the business-bank linking initiative was actively implemented. The city also brought small traders and Sacombank together, providing VND1 trillion in loans.
The city continues to promote trade both at home and abroad.
Authorities have kept export businesses informed regarding emerging market opportunities.
They have supported business attempts to expand domestic distribution, retail, and wholesale networks, aiming for a 15% increase in retail trade from 2012 levels.
The city will correct tax issues and allocate land tax revenue to the municipal budget and investment in production. ODA will also be used efficiently.
The city’s 2013 demand stimulus program disbursed VND3,192 billion to 90 projects. This year’s focus turns to four key industries: food processing, chemicals and rubber, engineering and electronics, and information technology.
Party Committee Secretary Le Thanh Hai urged the relevant agencies to attend to support industry development and ensure the quality of growth. The city must support its businesses in terms of capital, human resource quality, and science and technology.
2014 will be pivotal to fulfilling the municipal Party Committee’s 2011–2015 socio-economic and cultural development plan. Dynamism and creativity are essential, Hai notes.