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Growth in HCM City boosts first half GDP by 7.9 percent
The nation’s commercial hub has recorded a GDP of VND340.654 trillion (US$16.2 billion) in the first half of 2013, a year-on-year increase of 7.9 per cent.
A report by Le Hoang Quan, Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee at a meeting held on Friday to review the city’s socio-economic development in the first six months of 2013, said that the city’s service sector rose by 9.1 per cent over last year, the agricultural sector by seven per cent, and the industrial and construction sector by 6.2 per cent.
The city achieved an export turnover of over $13.7 billion, a year-on-year increase of 6.2 per cent, while its import turnover rose by 15.5 per cent to $12.7 billion. The sharp increase in imports is due to increases in the import of materials for textile and garments, footwear, pharmaceuticals, plastics and fuel sectors, according to the report.
Total retail sales went up by 11 per cent year-on-year to VND288.9 trillion, up by 11 per cent compared with the same period last year, the report said.
It noted, however, that the city’s economy still faced difficulties due to the global economic turmoil, large inventories and stagnant property market.
The report said the city welcomed over 1.9 million foreign visitors in the first half of the year, an increase of five per cent compared with the first half of 2012, and the tourism sector’s turnover of over VND41 trillion ($1.95 billion) in the same period marked a significant 30 per cent year-on-year increase in value over last year. No explanation was given for the apparently disproportionate surge.
Helping small firms
Quan said at the meeting that to reach targets set for the second half of 2013, all agencies and departments would carry out several measures mapped out by the city administration.
He said the city would continue to help businesses solve their problems through policies and incentives including exemption of some taxes and payment extensions for other taxes so as to release more capital for development.
Quan said priority would be given to farming and rural development, and to supporting industries, medium and small enterprises and enterprises using high and advanced technologies.
The city would also promote investment and exports, he said.
Quan asked State management agencies in the city to enhance dialogues with businesses, especially medium and small enterprises, in their localities. He said this would result in greater understanding of difficulties the firms were facing and help create more favourable conditions to promote production.