Responsible agencies urged to solve problems mentioned by businesses

Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Phan Van Mai asked departments and agencies to solve problems that businesses have mentioned at recent meetings to help businesses trust city’s determination for economy growth.
At the meeting

At the meeting

Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Phan Van Mai this morning chaired a meeting on the city's socio-economic situation in February and key tasks and solutions in March.

At the meeting, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment Le Thi Huynh Mai informed that in February and the first two months of the year, the city's socio-economic situation achieved many positive results. The index of industrial production (IIP) increased by 12.7 percent while tourism revenue increased by 115.8 percent over the same period.

Statistically, more than 319,000 international tourists arrived in the southern largest city, an increase of 100 percent over the same period. Additionally, the number of newly established enterprises increased by 13.1 percent.

Total budget revenue in the first two months of the year was estimated at more than VND 93,000 billion, reaching 19.83 percent of the year estimate, a year-on-year increase of 5.95 percent.

In the first two months of the year, the total retail sales of consumer goods and services increased by 6.1 percent against the same period; passenger transport volume increased by 57.7 percent; the number of passengers going to and from Ho Chi Minh City by rail and by air increased by 158 percent, and 94 percent respectively over the same period. The city attracted about US$369.1 million, up 59 percent over the same period; budget revenue increased by 5.95 percent and export turnover increased by 3 percent over the same period.

However, although the number of newly established enterprises increased, they decreased compared to the same period last year. The number of enterprises suspending operations soared by 20.1 percent so far this year compared to the same period in 2022. Real estate developers bumped into hiccups along the way as businesses hardly access credit capital. Worse, the bad debts of many banks increase sharply in 2022.

Mr. Nguyen Khac Hoang, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Statistical Office, said that in the first two months of the year, there were some signs that the government must re-evaluate carefully. Firstly, the industrial production index is still negative while this index of the country is also deeply negative which is unprecedented during the past 20 years.

Secondly, the growth of trade and services was still very slow because the recovery rate of tourism and entertainment activities was not as expected while the real estate market dropped 13 percent. Production difficulties will affect consumption.

Major General Le Hong Nam, Director of Ho Chi Minh City Police, added that a large number of workers in Ho Chi Minh City and surrounding areas lost their jobs which will negatively affect the socio-economic situation and security and order in the southern metropolis. Therefore, the Ho Chi Minh City Police requested the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs to coordinate with other departments, agencies and localities to implement a plan to support job creation and entrepreneurship, increasing employment and production stability.

At the same time, related agencies should support previously unemployed workers to enjoy policies on unemployment insurance and severance allowance for the city’s socioeconomic order.

Deputy Director of HCMC Institute for Development Studies Truong Minh Huy Vu also warned that businesses will continue cutting workers. Recently, the World Bank also warned about urban poverty due to large-scale labor cuts, putting pressure on informal workers who do not have secure employment contracts, workers' benefits, social protection or workers' representation in Ho Chi Minh City. This will create a burden on social security and the economy. Besides, issues of shortage of drugs, medical equipment and supplies in public hospitals will create huge consequences.

According to Mr. Truong Minh Huy Vu, Ho Chi Minh City is proposing many mechanisms and policies to create motivation for its development. Among them, something that Ho Chi Minh City itself can do, such as developing the night economy, the sidewalk economy, the circular economy, and new issues related to the digital economy. According to him, the city should quickly have specific policies for these above-mention things to create new development motivation.

Speaking at the conclusion of the meeting, Mr. Phan Van Mai acknowledged that the socio-economic results in February showed that the socio-economic situation was quite good compared to the forecast and set targets. The city should make a more concerted effort in March to end the first quarter as planned.

Mr. Phan Van Mai speaks at the meeting

Mr. Phan Van Mai speaks at the meeting

According to Mr. Phan Van Mai, some outstanding results such as Ho Chi Minh City held many meetings to listen to problems and recommendations of the business community. In March, Ho Chi Minh City will focus on solving these problems mentioned by business people to promote production and business.

Mr. Phan Van Mai emphasized another bright spot is the positive developments in public investment, this year the allocation of public investment capital is earlier. At the end of this March, as per schedule, the People's Council of Ho Chi Minh City will hold a special meeting on the allocation of capital for 8 major projects.

The city has also started the construction of large public investment projects.

Chairman Phan Van Mai also mentioned difficulties in the first two months of the year such as falling industrial production; plus, the number of enterprises withdrawing from the market was three times higher than newly established ones. Of the 81 tasks that need to be completed in February, 12 have not been done.

Regarding March, Mr. Phan Van Mai said that experts and departments have assessed that the downward trend from the fourth quarter of 2022 will continue to affect the end of the first quarter and until the end of the second quarter. Now the world economy has shown some positive signals while domestically, the Government and the City also focused on solving difficulties.

Regarding the solutions in March, the city People's Committee Chairman emphasized focusing on solving bottlenecks to help businesses. This week, the City will summarize all problems, assigning them to responsible departments for immediate handling. There should have a specific roadmap for complicated issues.

Chairman Phan Van Mai assigned his Vice Chairman Bui Xuan Cuong to remove difficulties for real estate projects which have huge spillover effects in the country. He asked relevant agencies and localities to work relentlessly to remove bottlenecks.

He also asked to have specific solutions for the development of the city's four key industries and nine important service industries. In particular, focus on industries that make a large contribution to the GRDP.

Listening to meeting participants, Mr. Phan Van Mai also directed agencies to help the health sector with the lack of medical equipment and create jobs for unemployed workers.

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