The original goal to establish Thu Duc City (merging from Districts 2, 9, and Thu Duc) as a satellite city of HCMC is to become a center for the knowledge economy and innovation, boosting the general economic development of HCMC and the Southern key economic region.
With the natural surface area of over 210km2 and a population of more than 1 million, Thu Duc City has a scale of a small province in Vietnam. It is, therefore, not exaggerate nor illogical to say that the city should have a provincial jurisdiction.
However, since Thu Duc City is a class-1 city under HCMC (a municipality), it is only equivalent to a district of a province, which might limit its potential growth to a large extent.
Until present, HCMC has been approved to be autonomous in certain fields according to Decree No.93/2001, and has applied a specific mechanism as stated in Resolution No.54. Therefore, Thu Duc City should enjoy its own specific jurisdiction in order to better implement HCMC’s specific mechanism.
The new administrative unit of Thu Duc District should be more active and innovative to fulfill the assigned establishment goals.
Since a merger of small administrative units into a larger one means a jurisdiction upgrade, it is clearly insensible for such a city with over 1 million residents and a surface area of more than 210km2 to merely have the same jurisdiction as District 4 (with only 200,000 residents on an area of 4.2km2.
Undoubtedly, it is the central Government who will make this decision. Yet it is suggested that this decision be carefully considered so that Thu Duc City can effectively prove its innovation and attract more investments while minimizing possible barriers to development.
The new jurisdiction should allow Thu Duc City to implement special policies, preferential methods and to simplify business forming procedures in order to create a friendlier environment for startup activities and the innovative economy. This will in turn make the city the startup center of the whole country.
Proper policies for financial promotion and tax exemption (value added, income, property) should also be considered to boost the growth of hi-tech parks, scientific parks, and automatic manufacturing centers. The liberation of investment flows and profits should be encouraged to attract more financial activities in Thu Thiem New Urban Area.
Customs-related procedures should be simplified to better exploit the strengths of Cat Lai Port. The use of traffic facilities, infrastructure and land should be boosted to build an innovative key center inside Thu Duc City.
Without any doubt, if being appropriately empowered, this new city is able to exploit its comprehensive advantages to the fullest to boost the economic growth of even the whole southern region, let alone HCMC.
In the ceremony to formally announce Resolution No.1111 by the Standing Committee of the National Assembly about the arrangement of administrative units and the establishment of Thu Duc City on December 31, 2020, Vice President of the National Assembly Uong Chu Luu affirmed that this is the first time in Vietnam a model of ‘city inside a municipality’ is introduced, so HCMC should propose a corresponding specific mechanism for this city to the Government for approval.
Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong also informed that after May 23, 2021 (election day for deputies of the National Assembly in the period from 2021-2026), HCMC will continue to perfect state units in Thu Duc City and prepare a detailed proposal for such a specific mechanism.