Chairman requires to clarify agencies’ responsibilities for sluggish investment

Presiding over a yesterday conference on the city’s socio-economic situation in January and implementation of tasks in 2020, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong requested to clarify procedure and each agency’s responsibilities for sluggish investment plan.

Chairman NGuyen Thanh Phong at the conference (Photo: SGGP)

Chairman NGuyen Thanh Phong at the conference (Photo: SGGP)

Speaking at the conference, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment Le Thi Huynh Mai released retail sales of goods and revenue from consumer services in January reached roughly VND112.770 billion (US$4.8 billion), up by 3.6 percent against December, 2019 and up 11.2 percent compared to the same period last year.
Worse, in the industry field, the index of industrial production (IIP) in January declined by nearly 4 percent. Manufacturing of wood, and product of wood, bamboo and neohouzeaua, a kind of bamboo, has delined by 25 percent while metal production dropped by nearly 40 percent, other process industries dipped by 21 percent, and production of rubber and plastic product decreased by 14 percent.
Industrial growth unexpectedly plummeted in January as a post-festival season decline in manufacturing and fewer working days in the month due to Covid-19, Director Mai explained.
Similarly, four key industries including food processing, chemical rubber, mechanics and electronics had an estimated year-on-year decrease of 2.7 percent. Of the four key industries, only electronic production hiked by 2.8 percent compared to the same period last year thanks to stable market and regularly new technological application by enterprises.
Especially, due to the Law on alcohol harm prevention, alcoholic beverage production just hiked by nearly 4 percent though it is festive season. It is forecast that alcoholic beverage production will dip more drastically in upcoming time.
Outstandingly, electronic products using Vietnamese-made chips and modern products have been mass-produced in Saigon Hi-tech Park. The export turnover of computers, electronic products and spare parts in the month touched US$1,591 million, up by 92.6 percent compared to the same period last year.
Director of the Department of Finance Pham Thi Hong Ha said that Covid-19 pandemic and decreased realty and individual investment have affected on production. Generally, budget revenue dropped with growth rate lower than the same period last year.
Specifically, special consumption tax in the first month of 2020 reduced by 6 percent compared to the same period. Personal income tax increased by 7.92 percent yet it hit the lowest within three recent years due to decrease in realty transferring and individual investment.
Similarly, corporate income tax leaped by 1.25 percent year-on-year yet it is still lowest within three recent years. Meanwhile, value added tax saw an increase of 5 percent in foreign direct investment while it was down in state enterprise section. Generally, the tax was down by 1.46 percent compared to the same period.
Speaking at the conference, Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong ordered industry and trade sector to focus on measures to curb IIP decline especially in four key industries in the next time.
Besides, the sector should take opportunities from EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which will be approved in the upcoming time to improve production and commodity quality. For instance, the Industry and Trade should review policies and solutions to heighten the city’s economic competitiveness.
Furthermore, he noted that the Director of the Department of Industry and Trade to set up a development council for the sector especially for IT, mechanism, plastics. HCMC will organize  talks with enterprises; for instance, this month, city leaders will meet with realty enterprises.
He required agencies to suggest solutions to resolve hiccups especially in sluggish investment project to speed them up. Last but not least, he asked to organize regular meetings for timely solutions of enterprises’ proposals and hiccups along the way. Simultaneously, each agencies’ responsibilities must be clarified to speed up projects.
Concerning overseas remittances to the city estimated to reach US$ 5 billion annually ( of which 72 percent flowing into investment), Chairman Phong asked his Deputy Tran Vinh Tuyen to have plan to use the amount effectively because the city is difficult in appealing investment projects; plus, it takes a lot of time to complete paperwork but some of investment projects are worth less than US$1 billion. US$ 5 billion is a big amount; therefore, the city should have plan to use it for production.
He emphasized that the city will continue to implement the government inspectors and Standing Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh’s direction on resettlement policies in the Saigon HI-Tech Park in District 9 and the 4.3-hectare area in Thu Thiem new urban  area in District 2 as well as to develop Thu Thiem according to the approved project.

By staff writers - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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