HCMC makes efforts to achieve dual goals for dwellers’ better living condition

Along with all residents in the whole country, Ho Chi Minh City authorities were determined to carry out dual goals including the control of the Coronavirus pandemic and effective implementation of economic recovery programs to ensure city dwellers’ living conditions in 2020.

Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong directs workers in Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone how to prevent Covid-19 in April, 2020 (Photo: SGGP)

Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong directs workers in Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone how to prevent Covid-19 in April, 2020 (Photo: SGGP)

In the context of difficult time, the southern metropolis has impressed people with its continuous creativeness and efforts in curbing the pandemic under the leadership and management of the Party Committee and the People’s Committee as well as the assent of sectors and people from every walk of life.
Fruitful results of the coronavirus pandemic prevention have reflected the city authorities’ determination and proactive management. After receiving the information of the disease, city authorities have kept a close watch on it as well as made prediction for the pandemic development because they knew that being a densely populated city with many foreigners residing in, Ho Chi Minh City is at risk of disease penetration; then, preventative measures have been proactively implemented for timely entrance of Covid-19 infected people into the southern metropolis.
It was truly like what the Government’s call for action: Fighting the epidemic is like fighting the enemy because HCMC authorities convened an urgent meeting with the attendance of leaders of organizations and sectors to popularize the preventative measures and containment of the coronavirus pandemic. Next, in every daily evening, the city Steering Board for Covid-19 Prevention has organized meetings with participation of all sectors, organizations and administrations in districts.
The city Party Chief and the Chairman of the city People’s Committee themselves attended the meetings to have timely and significant directions according to the motto “ Proactive prevention – Early discovery – Thorough isolation - Intensive treatment” and other five mottos including onsite fight force, onsite direction, onsite materials and equipment, onsite medicine and treatment and onsite duty.
City leaders emphasized that the most important thing in the fight against the pandemic is to make city dwellers understand the prevention approach and encourage all people to join hands in the country’s battle. After verifying the serious orientation towards the fight against coronavirus pandemic, city leaders have used text messaging and apps to provide information to each citizen and each household citywide so that all people consented and joined hands in the city’s fight and followed the health ministry’s guidelines on Covid-19 prevention. Finally, Vietnam generally and the city particularly have been praised internationally for initially winning the battle against an invisible enemy – the novel coronavirus.
In the context that the pandemic has made great impacts on the life of every resident, city leaders quickly realized that enterprises in the city will face the risk of collapse and laborers will easily bump into difficulties. Chairman of the city People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong pointed out that of the city’s economic structure, the service sector accounts for 60 percent whereas the coronavirus pandemic has made great impact on service especially tourism following accommodation, restaurant and hotels.
On the other hand, more than 90 percent of enterprises in HCMC are small and medium ones. Therefore, leaders of the city have ordered agencies, departments and administrations in districts to give support to enterprises as much as possible as they considered it as the most important task while carrying out the dual goals. The city also pioneered in performing supporting policies for businesses and laborers who have been running into difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic. Subsequently, half of millions of city dwellers received financial assistance with a total sum of VND607 billion (about US$26.32 million).
Thanks to timely supporting solutions for businesses, around 30,000 companies in the city stopped operation yet up to 40,000 other facilities have been newly set up with registered capital of VND1 quadrillion in 2020. Taking advantage of the time when the Covid-19 under control, the city’s tourism sector has increased collaboration with provinces and cities across the country to promote Vietnam’s tourism to push up domestic travel. The year 2020 saw the better service for Vietnamese tourists.
Encouraging growth in the electronic manufacturing industry and chemical, rubber and plastic sector were witnessed in 2020. Noticeably, the city’s total export turnover in 2020 reached US$44 billion, inching up by 73.1 percent against the same period in 2019. Last but not least, the city has well performed disbursement for public investment and collection for its state budget.
To maintain its leading position in the country, HCMC has pioneered in carrying out digital transformation programs. One month after Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved the national digital transformation program, Chairman of the city People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong greenlighted the municipal digital transformation program in July, 2020 with the orientation towards smart city including all-side renovation in the activities of administration machinery and of digital businesses.
The city is thirsty for playing as a pioneer in digital transformation and completing digital government with the aim to convert HCMC into a smart city for the city’s prosperity and dwellers’ living quality. City authorities realized that digital transformation is playing a vital factor for the growth and for making breakthroughs for the future. Chairman Phong emphasized that the key word for sustainable development is creativeness which spreads out to all departments, sectors, enterprises and residents.
While managing and leading the city, leaders of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee and the People’s Committee have mentioned many times that the city takes up just 0.6 percent of the country's land area and the most populous hub accounts for 9.3 percent of the country's population but it has contributed 22 percent to the country’s economic growth and 27 percent to the national budget.
City leaders understood that Ho Chi Minh City’s problems and requirements which need to be solved immediately will arise from its dense population and high economic activities or else delays in solving these hiccups will hold back its economic growth, and therefore, enterprises and residents will suffer loss. Subsequently, city leaders have proposed several solutions to the Politburo, the National Assembly and the government to help the city achieve breakthroughs in fast and sustainable development.
The National Assembly issued Resolution 54/2017/QH14 on piloting special mechanisms and policies to bolster the development of HCMC. Last year, the National Assembly passed a resolution allowing the southern metropolis to adopt a new urban administration model that streamlines the organizational structure and thus cuts operation costs.
HCMC authorities also formed a highly-interactive innovation city in the East of Ho Chi Minh City along with the establishment of Thu Duc City to push up the southern metropolis’ economy and the Southern Key Economic Zone’s development.
The new mechanism along with four development programs including a breakthrough program on management innovation; breakthrough in infrastructure development; breakthrough in human and cultural development; and the key program on the development of startup businesses and the development of the city's key products approved in 2020 will pave the way for the city’s sustainable development in 2021, for the 2020-2025 period and following years.

By Manh Hoa - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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