HCM City looks to return to its earlier high-growth path following a lull this year when growth rates have dipped sharply.
At a conference held recently to approve key tasks for the second quarter, city authorities considered measures to increase growth rate to 13 per cent.
The rate declined to 7.4 per cent in the first quarter due to various reasons.
They decided that all government agencies should speed up major projects and complete them on schedule to revive growth.
Deputy chair of the People’s Committee Nguyen Huu Tin urged officials to quickly resolve problems faced by businesses to boost production.
The committee has asked the government to ensure that bank interest rates for businesses involved in production and trading areas are 14-15 per cent, and that banks settle their bad debt issues soon.
These are among the six major measures submitted by the committee to the government at a recent meeting with deputy PM Vu Van Ninh.
They are expected to help the corporate sector survive and develop amidst the prolonged economic turndown.
The slowdown in growth has been accompanied by an all-round sluggishness. For instance, retail and services in the first four months were worth VND171 trillion (US$8.18 billion), just 6.3 per cent up from the same period last year.
Exports (excluding crude oil) rose by 8.9 per cent to $6.2 billion.
Thai Van Re, director of the city Department of Planning and Investment, said more than 7,500 businesses with total registered capital of VND51.4 trillion ($2.45 billion) were established, a 19 per cent rise.
The April CPI (consumer price index) rise was 0.08 per cent, the lowest in the last 20 months.
Despite the economic turmoil, the tourism sector saw “significant” growth, Re said.
The city welcomed around 250,000 foreign tourists, or over 50 per cent of total tourist arrivals in Vietnam, up 9 per cent from last year.
To curb accidents and congestion, in the next three years the city will give priority to major infrastructure works, especially Ring Road No. 2, until 2015.
Unfinished works in the project include the road linking the Phu My Bridge with the Hanoi Highway and the new Rach Chiec Bridge on this road.
The city has also ordered the districts of Hoc Mon, Cu Chi, Binh Chanh, and 9 to speed up site clearance for construction of Ring Roads No 3 and 4 by the Ministry of Transport.
To ease traffic congestion, many flyovers will be built at intersections like Phu Nhuan (in Phu Nhuan District), Hang Xanh (Binh Thanh District), and Dan Chu (in District 1).
Duong Hong Thanh, deputy director of the city transport department, said construction of the metro and BRT (bus rapid transit) systems would soon be sped up.
Besides building metro line No.1 linking Ben Thanh Market (in District 1) with Suoi Tien Park (in District 9), the city has been doing a feasibility study for the first BRT line along Vo Van Kiet Highway.
The department has also stepped up a programme to use CNG (compressed natural gas) in city buses, and is making efforts to increase the number of CNG-fuelled buses from the current 30 to 350 by 2015.