Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) aims to become a smart urban area and the country's driver of economic development by 2025, the city People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said at a conference held on May 6.
The Vietnamese city’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) per capita is expected to reach $8,500 by 2025, $13,000 by 2030 and $37,000 by 2045.
The city is also slated to become an economic, financial, commercial, scientific, technological and cultural hub in Southeast Asia by 2030 and in Asia by 2045. It is expected to be an attractive global destination by 2045.
In the last 45 years, the city has been the largest urban area in population and economic scale in the country.
Within the 2016-2019 period, the city’s GRDP increased by 7.72 per cent and its contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose more than 22 per cent. Its contribution to the state budget increased more than 26 per cent during the period.
Last year, the city’s economic growth rose by 1.39 per cent. Its budget collections reached more than 371 trillion dong ($16.2 billion), contributing more than 25 per cent to the national budget collection.
The proportion of domestic revenue out of the city’s total budget collection rose from 61.1 per cent in 2016 to 71.4 per cent in last year.
Economist Tran Du Lich said traffic infrastructure in the city is the most significant problem, adding that more linkages are needed to cities and provinces in the southern region.
The city has planned to build Ring roads No 1, 2, 3, and 4 for a long time, but construction has either not begun or has not been completed.
Vice-chairwoman of the People’s Committee in neighbouring Dong Nai province, Nguyen Thị Hoang, said that a bridge over the Dong Nai river should be built first.
The HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay expressway should be expanded to 10-12 lanes from the existing four lanes to ensure connections with the future Long Thanh International Airport, Hoang said, adding that the expressway has become overloaded.
Other projects that need be completed are belt roads No 3 and 4; the Saigon-Nha Trang section of North-South high-speed railway; and a railway section from Tan Son Nhat airport to Long Thanh airport.
HCMC and Dong Nai province also need to exploit local waterways, she added.
Vice-chairman of the People’s Committee in Tien Giang province Pham Van Trong said: “A regional development fund should be set up to call for capital for projects in the southern region. The province wants to engage in collaboration, especially with HCMC, to attract more capital to build industrial clusters that would include supporting industries."
According to Lich, in the next 10 years, the city’s economy should be based on digital technologies.
Dr Tran Mai Uoc of the Banking University in HCMC said the city should issue more policies on technology development. City authorities should work with enterprises and scientists in building a smart urban area, he added.
Dr Vu Thanh Tu An of Fulbright Vietnam University said that in the 2030-2045 period, infrastructure will include not only electricity, roads, schools and health facilities, but also databases, information and communication systems, and the sharing of data as well as data security.
The city should strongly reform its policies and improve the investment environment, An said.
Moreover, the city should focus on developing the domestic market and the competitive capacity of local enterprises because more than 50 per cent of the country’s population will become middle class by 2035.
If local enterprises do not take advantage of this trend, they will lose in the domestic market and “present it to foreign enterprises”, An added.
Dr Nguyen Van Luan of the University of Economics and Law said that the city should maintain a growth speed of eight per cent each year in the 2021-2030 period.
The city's economic structure should be changed to one of sustainability, including a focus on financial services, banking, tourism, commerce and logistics.
The quality of human resources and the strong development of the private sector should also be a focus, he said, adding that natural resources should be exploited responsibly.
VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK