Ho Chi Minh City decided to gradually reopen after a long time of isolation to prevent and control the Covid-19 epidemic in October 2021. Up to now, socio-economic activities have been normal again as before the epidemic. Over the past year, the strong recovery of Ho Chi Minh City is the result of the efforts and determination of city dwellers, the business community, and the city's machinery of state.
International tourists visit HCMC's downtown area
On the afternoon of September 22, Ben Thanh Market in District 1 was bustling with visitors and shoppers including many international tourists. Small businesses were busy offering and introducing products to customers. The food court was also full of international guests who were enjoying traditional Vietnamese dishes.
According to the Ben Thanh Market Management Board, the market currently receives more than 2,000 visitors per day on average. On weekends, the number of tourists coming to visit the market and shop doubles compared to weekdays. Currently, although the number of visitors has not reached the level before the epidemic, it is increasing steadily by about 20 percent-30 percent per month.
The increasing number of international visitors is not only the joy of small businesses at Ben Thanh market but also a positive signal for the tourism industry of the southern metropolis.
As of August, the southern largest city has welcomed 16.7 million domestic tourists and nearly 1.4 million international tourists. Total revenue from tourism reached VND74,500 billion, up 90.6 percent against the same period. Some other figures also prove the revival of the socio-economic development of Ho Chi Minh City including an increase in 14.5 percent of the industrial production index in the first eight months of the year. During the same period, total retail sales and service revenue reached more than VND746,000 billion. Moreover, foreign investments of more than US$2.71 billion were poured into the city.
The Ho Chi Minh City socio-economic recovery and development program for the period 2022-2025 sets a goal by the end of 2022 to be the period of recovery and restoration of disruption in the production chain and restoration of production and business activities so that the city will focus all resources to promote its strengths from 2023.
Mr. Phan Van Mai, Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, affirmed, this is a strong recovery, surpassing the initial expectations of city leaders. This shows that the recovery process is on the right track and the city not only has great prospects to fulfill its recovery goal in 2022 but also creates momentum for 2023 and the following years.
From January 11, 2022, Ho Chi Minh City was the first locality that soon issued the Economic Recovery and Development Program for the period 2022-2025, even before the Government issued Resolution No.11 on economic recovery and development. HCMC leaders decided to reopen in early October 2021 which was thought to be bold because at that time, the city had just experienced the most stressful days of the epidemic.
All resources are mobilized to the maximum for the prevention of the epidemic with the most drastic measures. As soon as the signs of the epidemic subsided, the city's gradual reopening policy helped people's lives better, and socio-economic activities and the prevention of the Covid-19 pandemic have been carrying out together. The timely decision of Ho Chi Minh leaders has generated good results.
The city’s entire machinery of state, each district administration, responsible departments and agencies have all facilitated businesses and people. Ho Chi Minh City identified major bottlenecks in the upward recovery process, including the inappropriate policy mechanisms for a big city like Ho Chi Minh City.
Policy-makers make the law for the country; therefore, some of the regulations are not suitable for a locality with the largest population and the most vibrant economic activities in the country. There are issues that need to be decided faster and more promptly by the city government, which is not possible with the current general regulations.
Currently, Ho Chi Minh City is reviewing the implementation of the Politburo’s Resolution 16 and the National Assembly’s Resolution 54/2017 on piloting specific mechanisms and policies for the city’s development, proposing to the Central Government a special mechanism and policy.