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Foreign associations expect HCMC to boost innovation, sustainable growth

By Le Hoang

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HCMC – Foreign firms are expecting HCMC to improve its investment climate, reform administrative procedures and speed up digitalization to move towards sustainable development, heard at a meeting between HCMC leaders and foreign business associations on May 20.

Apart from praising HCMC for its success in containing the spread of Covid and expressing optimism about the city’s economic growth, foreign investors showed their interest in doing business in the city to foster innovation and sustainability.

Mary Tarnowka, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham Vietnam), said that HCMC is capable of attracting investment in the high-value production field and developing the digital economy. However, she added that it is necessary to strengthen infrastructure and the workforce and make the business environment more favorable.

Simplifying administrative procedures, processing paperwork online and making investment licensing easier will help Vietnam and HCMC retain and attract foreign investors in the increasingly competitive global climate, she said.

She also supported HCMC’s plan to consolidate the financial market and develop the city into an international and regional financial hub.

At the meeting, Jean-Jacques Bouflet, vice chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham), suggested the city expedite digital transformation to make it easier to approve and appraise firms’ business operations.

Aside from proposing HCMC develop traffic infrastructure to ease traffic congestion and reduce pollution, Bouflet highly valued the importance of green growth and sustainability.

“HCMC should take into account incentives for energy-saving buildings and green construction,” said Bouflet.

Son Young IL, chairman of the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry in HCMC, said that work on the warehouse system at the Cat Lai port in the city remains slow. The city should upgrade logistics infrastructure, use an artificial intelligence platform to monitor traffic and widen expressways to facilitate cargo transport.

Many firms worldwide are moving toward the Environmental, Social, Governance model, so it is high time HCMC should orient enterprises to the model for sustainable development.

The development of traffic infrastructure, including metro lines, will contribute to reducing traffic jams, flooding and environmental pollution, according to Ajay Panot, a representative of the Singapore Business Group in HCMC.

Speaking at the meeting, HCMC Chairman Phan Van Mai said that the suggestions and proposals from foreign firms and associations reflected their interest in HCMC’s sustainability, helping the city become the leading economic hub in the country and the region.

The leader of the city committed to continuing to take action to better its business and investment climate.

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