Speaking at the conference, Chairman of HCMC People's Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong said HCMC saw signs of economic prosperity in the first 5 months of 2021 when the virus was relatively under control.
Specifically, total retail sales of consumer goods and services in the five months reached VND456,000 billion (nearly US$20 billion), up 8.9 percent year-on-year; retail trade of goods increased by 9.5 percent year-on-year; accommodation and food services increased by 30.8 percent year-on-year.
In addition, export turnover reached US$9.63 billion, up 15.1 percent over the same period, and the total state budget revenue was estimated at more than US$7.6 billion, reaching 47.85 percent more than estimations, up 22.8 percent over the same period.
According to the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (LOLISA), there have been 1,365 companies in HCMC reporting the effects of Covid-19. More than 42,500 workers lost their jobs or stopped working temporarily; 410 companies needed to borrow capital to pay workers.
Moreover, 2,274 companies got dissolved (up 4.99 percent over the same period), and 9,308 temporarily suspended business activities (up 22.99 percent over the same period).
As a result, the HCMC Association of Businesses proposed that the city leaders recommend the government in implementing relief packages enacted by decree 52/2021/ND-CP, as well as social security support packages by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
Furthermore, it was suggested that HCMC soon issued its own support package including improving the business environment, reducing costs for businesses, taking care of social security for workers who lost their jobs and had to take leave, support enterprises to arrange temporary accommodation for workers, and supporting vocational training tuition.
On the other hand, HCMC needs to issue a specific support package for businesses that are heavily affected and have to stop production such as tourism and service industries during Covid.
Regarding commercial banks, it was suggested that they continue to consider debt rescheduling, reducing old debt interest rates and considering new loans at lower interest rates for companies.
They should also encourage unsecured lending for a number of industries facing difficulties due to the epidemic, encourage loans for investment in medical equipment, vaccine research, and treatment facilities, and sponsor businesses for raw materials for production and export.
The Association also recommended that HCMC carry out on-site checkpoints to aid transporting food goods to sales points, concentrated quarantine areas, and hospitals among other locations.
Also, it is necessary to have a mechanism for retailers to shorten the time of payment to increase capital mobility of manufacturing enterprises, especially those producing essential products. The development of cold storage was also proposed.