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HCMC resolves to improve investment environment as foreign investment plunges

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HCMC – As foreign investment in HCMC has plummeted, HCMC Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong has committed to dramatically improving the local investment environment by enhancing the responsibility of heads of departments and agencies among others.

They must bear the responsibility if enterprises complain about them, Phong noted at a question-and-answer session of the 23rd sitting of the municipal People’s Council on December 8.

Council member Nguyen Thi To Tram said the city’s improvement of the investment environment remains modest and its competitiveness index has fallen in the past few years. She asked the municipal government for solutions to improve the investment environment.

In response, Phong admitted that foreign investment in the country had tumbled. The city has attracted only US$4 billion in foreign investment since early this year, dipping 52% year-on-year.

The city has issued investment certificates for only 1,300 new projects, with each project costing only US$540,000 on average. The city has failed to attract large projects.

The city’s improvement of the investment environment has yet to make a breakthrough and has several shortcomings, the municipal chairman added.

As for the provincial competitiveness index, while other localities reported a sharp increase in the 2016-2019 period, HCMC dropped from the sixth position in 2016 to the 14th place last year. In 2020, the city will find it hard to be among the top five localities with the highest competitiveness indexes.

Amid the shift of investment capital from other countries to Vietnam, it is essential for HCMC to create favorable conditions for investors. Therefore, HCMC has chosen 2021 as the year to build the single-tier government structure and improve the investment environment.

The municipal government will convert farm land for other uses as agriculture makes up only 0.7% of the city’s gross regional domestic product.

The city will prioritize investments using hi-tech projects over those that require a large volume of laborers.

In the coming periods, the city will review projects in industrial parks and export processing zones. Investors of projects using a large number of laborers must make adjustments in line with the city’s strategy to have their investment term extended.

By Hung Le & Anh Quan

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