PM urges HCM City to aim high, become smart city, int’l financial hub in SE Asia
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has urged HCM City to devise a long-term plan to turn the city into a smart city over the next five years and an international financial hub in Southeast Asia in the future.
Speaking at the 11th HCM City Party Congress for 2020-25 term that opened on Thursday, Phúc said: “The five-year Party congress is an important political and historical event as it opens up a new vision for a new development period.”
He added that HCM City should aim to become a major centre for education-training, science-technology, and culture, and maintain its role as the economic locomotive for the country’s southern key economic zone.
Phúc spoke highly of the targets, tasks and solutions mapped out by HCM City over the next five years, especially the smart city project.
“The city must continue to optimise all opportunities and potential to address the challenges to become a national economic driver.”
The PM also praised the city for speeding up the progress of the first metro line (Bến Thành – Suối Tiên) that is expected to be tested by the end of this year so that it can become operational by the end of 2021.
HCM City has also taken the lead in productivity nationwide. Its per capita gross regional domestic product (GRDP) has reached US$6,600, 2.4 times higher than the national average, with improvements made in social welfare, job generation and poverty reduction, according to the PM.
Phúc, however, pointed out a number of challenges facing the city, saying: “The economic growth has not been commensurate with the potential.”
The traffic infrastructure still has many shortcomings, and urban planning and management have not kept up with development requirements, he said, adding that the quality of human resources remains low.
Speaking at the event, Nguyễn Thiện Nhân, secretary of the municipal Party Committee, said that the city has achieved significant results in infrastructure planning, urban development, healthcare, education-training, and science-technology.
Thanks to its high labour productivity, HCM City’s average growth rate stood at 7.6 per cent over the past five years, he said. The city contributed 22.7 per cent of the national gross domestic product (GDP).
Over the past five years, the city was the largest contributor to the State budget, accounting for 27 per cent of the total budget revenue. The rate between its budget spending and revenue was also the lowest in the country, he said.
Together with the entire country, the city has successfully contained the COVID-19 outbreak, he added.
The city has implemented or proposed major projects such as the adjustment of the revenue budget retention ratio; a ‘city within a city’ tentatively called Thủ Đức City; and the smart city project.
Other major projects include development of the logistics industry; anti-flooding and wastewater treatment; and solid waste treatment.
“The city has also achieved good results in collecting public feedback to build a strong and transparent Party and administration, and prevent moral degradation and corruption,” Nhân said.
The city aims to improve human resources in fields such as information and technology, mechanics – automation, artificial intelligence, finance – banking, healthcare, tourism, and urban management.
Over the next five years, the city has set an average gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth target of 8-8.5 per cent annually, and per capita GRDP of $8,500 – 9,000 by the end of 2025.
The city also aims to create new jobs for 700,000 workers. The unemployment rate will be below 4 per cent. The city aims to have 21 doctors and 42 hospital beds per 10,000 citizens over the next five years.
On Thursday, the congress will elect and announce the executive committee of the 11th municipal Party Committee, and a delegation to the 13th National Party Congress.
Also attending the event was former Party General Secretary Nông Đức Mạnh; former State Presidents Trần Đức Lương, Nguyễn Minh Triết, and Trương Tấn Sang, former National Assembly chairman Nguyễn Văn An; and former Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng.
The congress ends on Sunday. — VNS