Ho Chi Minh City’s (HCMC) economy is rebounding strongly, raising confidence among people and businesses, heard a recent meeting on the local socio-economic situation.

Speaking at the meeting on April 26, municipal Department of Planning and Investment director Le Thi Huynh Mai said the southern Vietnamese city’s Index of Industrial Production (IIP) in April expanded some two per cent from the previous month and 9.7 per cent year-on-year.

Its total retail sales of goods and services also jumped 3.2 per cent month-on-month and 6.2 per cent year-on-year. Lodging and catering services increased by more than 12 per cent and travel services grew over 18 per cent compared with March.

In the first four months of this year, the southern economic hub’s budget collection was over 168.77 trillion dong ($7.34 billion), fulfilling 43.51 per cent of the estimate for the whole year and up 13.87 per cent year-on-year.

Its IIP increased 2.6 per cent during the four-month period, of which the four main sectors of food processing, pharmaceutical chemicals-rubber-plastic, mechanical engineering, and electronics rose some six per cent against the corresponding period last year.

Despite difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of foreign direct investment (FDI) firms are seeking local suppliers, which will be a good opportunity for enterprises operating in support industries to further integrate into the global supply chain and improve their competitiveness, a representative from the municipal Department of Planning and Investment said.

Notably, outcomes in pandemic containment and economic recovery have helped warm up the tourism market, with foreign tourists in April increasing 100 per cent year-on-year to 114,728. The city earned around 8.76 trillion dong from tourism, a year-on-year rise of 26.7 per cent.

Since April 25, the municipal Department of Health has applied measures to renovate the quarantine at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, including the exemption of Covid-19 test checks.

As airlines are already required to ensure all passengers are negative for Covid-19, the department asked the city’s Centre for Disease Control to skip this process at the airport.

Tourism Department director Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa said the local tourism sector is also offering new products like city tours by helicopters and cruise ships to attract more holidaymakers.

HCMC Institute for Development Studies Associate Professor Dr Tran Hoang Ngan held that the good control of Covid-19 has positively impacted local economic activities.

However, he said, the city should pay more attention to the living standards of labourers, poor households and social policy beneficiaries amid increasing inflation.

He also suggested HCMC speed up the implementation of the National Assembly’s Resolution No 43/2022/QH15 on fiscal and monetary policies in support of the socio-economic development and recovery programme, along with the government’s Resolution No 11/NQ-CP on the programme, making it easier for enterprises and people to access fiscal and monetary support packages.

City People’s Committee chairman Phan Van Mai ordered assessing the impacts of price hikes on people, especially low-income earners, and accelerating the implementation of support packages for people affected by the pandemic.

Regarding tasks for May, he asked departments and localities to continue efforts to fight Covid-19 and dengue, and implement resolutions on socio-economic recovery and development.

The city will focus on organising and participating in tourism and cultural events and activities, with the highlight being the 18th HCMC Tourism Festival, according to the official.

The southern metropolis will also work harder to complete procedures for the construction of Belt Road 3, and remove obstacles to the disbursement of public investments, he said.