HCMC is fully capable of becoming a megacity: Experts

Experts at the scientific conference for Ho Chi Minh City’s development in the period from 2021 to 2030, with a vision to 2045 believe the city’s goal to become a regional mega city is doable with the help of necessary policy changes.

The conference was attended by Mr. Nguyen Van Nen, member of the Politburo, Secretary of the HCMC’s Party Committee; Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phong, member of the Party Central Committee, Deputy Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee, Chairman of HCMC’s People’s Committee, as well as leaders of provincial and municipal ministries in the Southern region.

Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong speaking at the conference. (Photo: SGGP)
At the conference, Director of Fulbright University Vietnam Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh said HCMC must first consider itself a global megacity and economic - financial - cultural center in Southeast Asia. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to set out strategic priorities, gradually moving towards services instead of heavy industries to save time and human resources in the long run.
HCMC is fully capable of becoming a megacity: Experts ảnh 2 Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh at the conference. (Photo: SGGP)
Dr. Tu Anh pointed out how HCMC has always been focusing on low-cost production and attracting foreign investment but failed to capitalize on the domestic private sector, suggesting that it should strive to create a competitive and marketable environment for this demographic in the next 10 years.
HCMC also needs to encourage productivity growth and infrastructure development, change the concept of infrastructure to fit modern technological demands and form key industry clusters in HCMC such as an international financial center, said Dr. Tu Anh.
He explained that the traditional definition of infrastructure only includes roads, transportation or public welfare facilities, and HCMC should start to consider technological databases and information systems to facilitate fast communication.
With a further vision, HCMC should transition to an innovative economy not purely based on investment, invest in highly skilled human resources, have scientific and technological bases, and develop policies to encourage innovation and competitiveness, he added.
More than 50 percent of Vietnam's population will join the global middle class by 2035, generating domestic consumption that the city must capitalize on before foreign businesses swoop in, Dr. Tu Anh stated.
Finally, Dr. Tu Anh suggested institutional reform to solidify HCMC’s position as a megacity comparable to large cities in the region through urban projects like the new Thu Duc City and the municipal administration model.
Another expert at the conference, Vice Chairman of Dong Nai People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Hoang pointed out how HCMC and the Southern key economic region has the highest proportion of immigrants in the country, creating traffic jams, pollution and floods. 
HCMC is fully capable of becoming a megacity: Experts ảnh 3 Vice Chairman of Dong Nai People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Hoang at the conference. (Photo: SGGP)
She said HCMC should look into developing regional connecting traffic, firstly Cat Lai bridge over Dong Nai river to connect the two localities, and extending the HCMC - Long Thanh - Dau Giay expressway to 10 or 12 lanes.
Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of Tien Giang People’s Committee proposed a regional development fund, and Director of the Institute for Cyclic Economic Development said Thu Duc City needs to be a pioneer in building a circular economy and develop a mechanism to connect the government and domestic businesses.
HCMC is fully capable of becoming a megacity: Experts ảnh 4 Director of the Institute for Cyclic Economic Development Nguyen Hong Quan speaks at the conference (Photo: SGGP)
Concluding the conference, Chairman of HCMC People's Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong stated that the experts’ opinions will be studied and transformed into specific solutions for the period of 2021-2030 with a vision to 2045 vision.

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