Plans to revive Northwest Urban Area in HCMC

A hi-tech satellite town has been in the planning in the North Western Urban Area of Ho Chi Minh City for decades. Many investment projects worth billions of dollars have been granted investment certificates for the development of this town plan.
Plans to revive Northwest Urban Area in HCMC ảnh 1 President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (2nd from left) and HCMC leaders look at the map of the Northwest Urban Area in HCMC. (Photo: SGGP)
However, so far this area still remains the least developed part of HCMC. In a conference on investment promotions in Hoc Mon and Cu Chi districts last week, chaired by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and several leaders of HCMC, investors were once again hopeful of a revival of the development of this major project.

Action required

Mr. Nguyen Van Nen, Secretary of the Party Committee of HCMC, spoke at the opening of the conference on investment promotion in Hoc Mon and Cu Chi districts, saying that the conference had three main purposes. The first was to have an implementation of an action plan for the development of the project in HCMC. The second was to fulfil the promise of the National Assembly to the compatriots and voters of HCMC, and particularly the voters of Hoc Mon and Cu Chi districts.  The third was to create opportunities for agencies, units, businesses, and investors to continue to fulfil their mission and commit to implementing the economic recovery and development of HCMC.

Mr. Nguyen Van Nen emphasized the importance of keeping a promise and that HCMC is committed fully to making all efforts, with the highest determination, and at the fastest speed, with a sincere spirit to create the best conditions for domestic and foreign businesses to do business in this North Western Urban Area of HCMC. He added that at the same time, the focus must be to constantly improve service capacity, reform administrative procedures, and create new improved changes in the investment environment in HCMC. With these views in mind, the investment promotion conference was meant to respond to participants to implement many projects of important socio-economic significance, with the determination to create the highest value, and contribute to the development of the people and also improve the quality of life for all.  

At the conference, Mr. Furusawa Yasuyuki, General Director of AEON Vietnam Co., Ltd., said that Japan's leading retail enterprise plans to develop a retail business model suitable to people's needs and actual conditions of each locality, with the desire to promote sustainable socio-economic growth, promote local consumption of goods, develop civilized and modern commercial services for residential areas, elevate the lifestyle, create more job opportunities for people, and contribute to the local budget.

Mr. Jun Sung Ho, General Director and CEO of Lotte Properties HCMC, offered to find new investment opportunities in the North Western Urban Area, and actively research investment opportunities for introduced projects in Hoc Mon and Cu Chi districts. Mr. Ken Chan, representing CMIA Capital Partner and Surbana Jurong, informed about the Agri Food-Tech Eco Township project in Trung An commune in Cu Chi district. This is a project that has been researched and surveyed by investors since 2018, and covers an area of more than 1,018 hectares. The objective of the project is to form a hi-tech agro-ecological urban area; agro-food processing area; a logistics area connecting the regions of Tay Ninh, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, and Dong Nai for closed agro-food processing materials; ecological urban area close to nature; ecological balance to meet the population of 100,000 people who are experts and workers; meet commercial and residential services in the region; generate annual revenue of about US$2 billion; and create stable jobs for more than 50,000 employees.

Eco-smart urban area

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Nha, Director of the Department of Planning and Architecture, informed that Hoc Mon and Cu Chi districts account for more than 26% of the total area of HCMC, nearly the entire territory of the city to the Northwest. Hence the North Western Urban Area is oriented to be an important growth area in the Northern part of the City. This is an area with high and flat terrain, natural ecosystems, and beautiful and diverse landscapes. Nearby is the Moc Bai border gate, the Dau Tieng lake, and the urban Tan An-Thu Dau Mot-Lai Thieu area. In order to improve the quality of life of the people here and meet the development needs of the city, it is necessary to expand the urbanization scope of Hoc Mon and Cu Chi districts along with a sustainable, stable, and development oriented roadmap of HCMC.

According to Mr. Nguyen Thanh Nha, in the future, all these areas will be centers of finance, services, industry, agricultural scientific research, health care, education, sports, and residential projects. He believes that in adjusting the upcoming plan, it is necessary to reserve adequate land for agriculture and eco-tourism, and also develop Cu Chi district as a green belt of the city by not allowing urbanization and construction, and maintaining a wide riverside corridor along the Saigon River.

Mr. Nha also wants Cu Chi and Hoc Mon districts to be built as places with typical cultural spaces, and many attractive tourism products, to become a new city area. Along with this, the transportation system, road routes, HCMC-Tay Ninh expressway and river routes, bus routes connecting places of interest and tourism, must also be invested, developed, and completed. He feels that investment in the development of these two areas is very necessary and has many prospects, which will awaken the potential of the northern area of the city, which is inherently like a reserve.

Mr. Tran Quang Lam, Director of the Department of Transport, said that Hoc Mon and Cu Chi districts are areas with many benefits in transport infrastructure development planning. This is where the Ring Roads 3 and 4 will be built. These traffic projects along with the HCMC-Moc Bai expressway will help HCMC and Tay Ninh province to connect with other provinces as well as Cambodia.

Investor commitments

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that Hoc Mon and Cu Chi are two districts with many development advantages, being the buffer zone of HCMC in the Southern economic regions along the Saigon River. The population size of the two districts is equivalent to that of Da Nang City. He emphasized that Hoc Mon and Cu Chi districts can be likened to a sleeping dragon that needs to be developed. Although HCMC contributes towards one-third of the national budget, the development of these two districts is still low. For instance, Cu Chi's budget revenue is just over VND1 trillion, while with the same population, Da Nang City collects tens of thousands of billion dong per year.  

Therefore, the development of Hoc Mon and Cu Chi districts will also help HCMC solve the problem of expanding the space for balanced development, attracting resources, especially in tourism, services, and hi-tech agriculture which will then relieve pressure on the population, infrastructure, housing, and jobs. It will also expand the space for living as population grows more densely in HCMC.

President Phuc also pointed out that the conference on investment promotion is not a one-time program, ending in just one day, but will monitor and supervise the implementation of the goals and commitments of investors when investing in Hoc Mon and Cu Chi districts. He explained the results achieved in investment promotion to the voters of the two districts saying that every word and commitment at the conference must go hand in hand with real deeds and real people. President Phuc was also pleased to announce that more than $17 billion of investment has been offered for the two districts in which $500 million will be for investment of projects.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc directed HCMC and the two concerned districts to develop synchronously and sustainably, and not develop with mere services but also learn from past mistakes and experiences in developing appropriately. He believed it was essential to develop the two districts with the interests of the people in mind, as both Cu Chi and Hoc Mon districts need to be developed ecologically and sustainably and real estate investors must not take advantage of this opportunity to push up housing prices.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc also pointed out that the bottleneck that restrains the development of the two districts is the transportation system. He has now asked the Ministry of Transport to quickly remove these bottlenecks on mechanisms and policies so as to mobilize resources better in investing in key traffic routes such as the Ho Chi Minh City-Moc Bai Expressway, Ring Road 3, Ring Road 4, and other riverside roads connecting Cu Chi and Hoc Mon with central areas, and also to the airport and seaport.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has requested that investors need to fulfill their commitments, and properly implement their plans quickly to deploy the investment disbursement plan, and to totally avoid corruption and further delays. For all these tasks, deputies of HCMC and the National Assembly will monitor and raise issues before the National Assembly on which units were not implementing appropriately as per plans.

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