Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) authorities have set an ambitious economic growth target for this year of six-to-6.5 per cent.
Speaking at a conference on socio-economic development in 2022 on January 8, Phan Van Mai, chairman of the city People’s Committee, said to achieve the goal it was vital to sustain the current excellent Covid-19 prevention results.
The outbreak was basically contained at the end of September, according to Mai.
The southern Vietnamese city had given everyone aged 18 and above two doses of Covid vaccines and planned to finish booster shots by the end of March as required by the health ministry.
“Though prolonged restrictions seriously affected the city’s businesses as well as people’s lives, the economy had many bright spots.”
Its revenues exceeded the year’s target marginally to reach 381.53 trillion dong ($16.8 billion), and accounted for 25-27 per cent of the country’s.
It attracted more than $7.23 billion worth of foreign direct investment (FDI), a 38.48 per cent increase from 2020, and remittances rose nine per cent to an estimated $6.6 billion.
It aimed to create 140,000 jobs this year and keep the unemployment rate at below four per cent.
“To achieve the goals will be challenging since the pandemic remains unpredictable in the country and around the world, and the city has recorded cases of the super contagious Omicron variant.”
The city would continue to speed up digital transformation and the adoption of information technology at all levels of government.
It would continue to support the business sector and improve the investment climate together with enforcing pandemic controlling measures as part of its economic recovery plan for the year.
The main tasks for 2022 should be to “adapt safely and flexibly and effectively control the pandemic, improve governance, support businesses, and improve the business climate”.
A recent survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham Vietnam) found HCMC leading the country in economic reopening and recovery.
Almost all firms in the largest Vietnamese city have resumed operations, and are very optimistic about the future, it said, attributing it to vaccination.
With the Covid-19 pandemic now under control in HCMC, businesses will need 280,000-310,000 new workers this year, according to a report by the HCMC Centre for Human Resource Forecast and Labour Information.
Demand is projected at 87,000 in the first quarter, 72,000 in the second, 74,000 in the third, and 77,000 in the fourth.
The services sector is expected to have strong demand, accounting for nearly 66 per cent of the overall hiring, with industry and construction accounting for the rest.
Phan Ky Quan Triet, deputy director of the centre, said hiring would pick up due to the strong business recovery.
The labour force in the city would rise to nearly five million this year, he said.
But businesses need to offer greater benefits, a safe working environment and flexible working hours to get new workers and retain existing ones, he added.
Nguyen Van Lam, deputy director of the city Department of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs, said all businesses have resumed operations after the city lifted restrictions.
They have been expanding their work forces to meet the surge in orders for the Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays, with around 30,000 already hired, he said.
Businesses are expected to recruit another 70,000-75,000 employees after Tet, with skilled workers accounting for 30 per cent.
VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK