Ho Chi Minh City: Splendid Progress

12:35:57 PM | 15/4/2017

More than 40 years after officially being named after President Ho Chi Minh (1976 - 2016), under the close direction and leadership of the Central Party, the Municipal Party, the government and people of Ho Chi Minh City with their innovative and creative ways has joined forces to lead the city to move forward. Continuously reaping important and comprehensive achievements in all socioeconomic sectors, the city has confidently become a national city with a more spacious and modern face, serving as the development engine of the southern key economic zone and the country as well.
Breakthroughs in economic development
Over the past 40 years, Ho Chi Minh City has truly become a fast-growing city in comparison with other parts of the country. The economy has improved every year with a faster annual growth of double digit, right-tracked economic restructuring, promoted social resources. All sectors develop.
Since 1986, the city has become a leader of innovation and creativity in all fields, particularly in economic development with high growth rate in many consecutive years (12.6 per cent in 1991 - 1995; 10.1 per cent in 1996 - 2000, 11 per cent in 2001 - 2005, 11.4 per cent in 2006 - 2010). In particular, in the 2011-2015 period, the city's GDP grew at an average rate of 9.6 per cent a year, 1.66 times that of the national average of 5.8 per cent. The scale, potential and contribution to the whole country increased and its economic leadership in the region was promoted. Its contributions to the State Budget looked up year after year, accounting for 27.7 per cent in 2011 and 30 per cent in 2014 (doubling that in 2006 - 2010).
Foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises are contributing significantly to economic development and employment of Ho Chi Minh City and neighbouring provinces. In particular, they are positively affecting industrial and service development. Financial, credit, banking, transport, consultancy, post, telecom and healthcare services have been modernised and effectively met production, tourism, life and international economic integration requirements. The banking system has been expanded to facilitate all economic sectors and people access banking services. Transport, post and telecommunication infrastructure has been developed rapidly with higher quality.
After the renovation period, Ho Chi Minh City has taken the lead in many development models, for example building export processing zones, making company laws and private company laws. Not only leading the country in competitiveness and international economic integration, the city is one of high performers in investment attraction, especially FDI attraction. The city currently has 3 export processing zones and 13 industrial parks, covering a total area of 3,748 ha. The formation of export processing zones and industrial parks has not only enabled the city to quickly draw FDI capital but also generated millions of workers, facilitated economic development towards industrialisation and modernisation, and created an important premise for the rapid urbanisation of surrounding areas.
Modernisation for a new stature
Ho Chi Minh City has become one of the most attractive cities in Vietnam. This success comes from the city’s government’s focus on synchronised urban infrastructure development towards civilisation, modernity and friendliness. This has changed the size, shape and appearance of the city.
The city’s industrialised and modernised development linked with planning, urban planning management, urban development and synchronous infrastructure construction has resulted in magnificent changes and development. New urban areas such as Thu Thiem Urban Area, Phu My Hung Urban Area and Northwest Saigon Urban Area are being invested and constructed in harmony with the city’s space. The programme for relocation and resettlement of households living on and around rivers and canals, the programme for construction of accommodations for workers, dormitories for students, affordable houses for low-income people are centrally carried out to significantly improve living conditions for people.
Traffic infrastructure investment is a groundbreaking progress in urban development. Many traffic works have become symbolic, dynamic and creative landmarks of the city and signals of its new vitality such as the tunnel that crosses the Saigon River, Vo Van Kiet Avenue, Pham Van Dong Boulevard, Ho Chi Minh City - Long Thanh - Dau Giay Expressway, Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien City Rail and Ben Thanh - Tham Luong Rail, scheduled to be put into operation in 2020 and 2022.
From a city full of slums and polluted canals, in the past 40 years, Ho Chi Minh City has relocated and re-organised livelihoods for more than 36,000 households along Nhieu Loc - Thi Nghe, Tan Hoa - Lo Gom and Tau Hu - Ben Nghe canals, thus bringing greenery to these canals and improving the living environment for surrounding people .
Telecommunication, seaport, airport infrastructure and others have been strongly developed. Water supply, electricity, drainage, communication, lighting and environmental sanitation have been well invested. Simultaneously, many new urban zones with synchronous and modern infrastructure are being constructed and put into use to serve socioeconomic development, environmental protection, and livelihood improvement in the city.
City of love
In addition to economic development, Ho Chi Minh City has paid much attention to raising the quality of material and spiritual life of people. Public healthcare has been progressed a lot, with heavily invested medical systems and upgraded medical equipment; improved medical examination and treatment; medical policies for the poor, children aged under six, policy-benefit people and people with recognised merits to the nation. The scale and network of all levels are fully developed. The quality and effect of education and training has changed positively. All grades and disciplines have rapidly increased in scale. The literacy of citizens has improved remarkably.
During the construction process in the light of “civilisation - modernity - affection”, Ho Chi Minh City has cared about the carrying out of policies for people with meritorious services and people in need of social protection beneficiaries. The city has completed the goal of reducing poverty rate set for the 2009 - 2015 period two years ahead of schedule. At present, poor households with a yearly per capita income of less than VND16 million account for only 0.89 per cent. Near-poor households with per capita income of less than VND21 million make up for 2.39 per cent.
Other policies such as developing social insurance system, implementing universal health insurance and gradually increasing social security standards have also been carried effectively in Ho Chi Minh City. In the past time, the city has executed a series of affordable housing projects for low-income people, workers and civil servants and built water supply facilities for suburban people. Many irrigation works for agricultural and industrial production have been constructed and promoted effectively. New countryside development programmes have produced optimistic results. Transport, irrigation, social, cultural and health projects and dilapidated house clearance programmes have also been deployed to give a facelift to the countryside.
The Party, the government and people of Ho Chi Minh City have made great strides in development, proudly contributed its effort, wisdom and experience to the common cause and marched with the whole Party, the entire people and the army to make Vietnam much more beautiful and bigger country as said by Uncle Ho. Being aware of its “for the entire nation, with the entire nation” responsibility, the Party and people of Ho Chi Minh City will make even more miraculous wonders in the new era and move ahead of the cause of national industrialisation and modernisation, build a city of greater civilisation, modernisation and friendship.
Duy Anh