HCMC – The HCMC government will take a number of drastic measures to help its 2020 gross regional domestic product (GRDP) grow by 5% after it increased by just 2% in the first half of the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Data of the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment indicated that most of the city’s industries shrank in the first half of 2020. The retail sector was the only bright spot with a growth rate of 10.1% thanks to the online shopping boom during the social distancing period.
Some 2,504 businesses in the city disbanded from January to June, up 10.89% compared with the same period last year, while 8,329 businesses temporarily suspended their operations, up 41% year-on-year.
On the other hand, there were 18,493 newly registered businesses with registered capital totaling VND246.18 trillion, equivalent to 89% and 75.2% of that of the same period last year, respectively.
The city attracted US$2.01 billion in foreign investment, equivalent to 65.3% of that of the same period last year.
Explaining the recession, HCMC Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said at a meeting on the city’s economic performance in the first half of the year on July 23 that the service sector, which accounted for 60% of the city’s GRDP, was severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Besides, only 2.14% of enterprises in the city are large-scale, capitalized at VND100 billion or more, while 90% of them are small and medium-sized enterprises that are the most vulnerable to the pandemic.
To help the city’s GRDP grow by 5% this year, Phong suggested that the authorities of districts organize regular meetings with businesses to listen to their difficulties. The local authorities should immediately resolve issues they are in charge of, while other issues must be reported in time to the municipal government.
The city will boost domestic tourism by collaborating with other localities to diversify tourism services. The HCMC chairman proposed that travel companies should operate more waterway tours connecting HCMC with the Mekong Delta provinces.
The municipal government will also organize a number of conferences to connect the city’s enterprises with European companies and coordinate with the United States Trade and Development Agency to hold a teleconference to help HCMC and U.S. businesses seek partnership and investment opportunities.