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HCM City makes headway in FDI attraction

VOV 27/6/2008-Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked the nation’s largest economic hub to speed up infrastructure construction and human resource training to attract more foreign direct investment and utilise the resource more effectively.

Addressing a conference in HCM City on June 27, Mr Hai noted that during the past 20 years, the city has made an enormous leap in economic development and has taken the lead in attracting foreign direct investment.

By the end of 2008, the city had 3,128 operational FDI projects with a combined capital of US$25.6 billion. Investment in industrial and service projects increased dramatically, making up 49.28 percent of the total, while real estate projects accounted for 20.21 percent and the agro-forestry and fisheries sector 0.38 percent. The education, healthcare and hi-tech sectors also lured a large amount of foreign capital.

By early 2009, US$10.1 billion was disbursed or 40 percent of the total. Hong Kong topped the list of foreign investors in the city, pouring in more than US$3.4 billion. It was followed by the Republic of Korea (US$2.8 billion) and Singapore (US$1.98 billion). However, Malaysia and Singapore returned to the top following their recent decisions to invest in a Berjaya international university area and Thu Thiem software park in the city.

Thanks to foreign investment, the city’s economic restructuring has shifted toward increasing the proportion of industries and services in GDP. Accordingly, the proportion of the industrial-construction sector increased from 38.5 percent in 1995 to 45.6 percent in 2007 and that of the agro-forestry and fisheries sector fell from 3.35 percent to 1.45 percent.

FDI has helped the city boost exports, develop its socio-economic infrastructure and improve people’s living standards. Through FDI, the city has acquired modern technology and management skills, and generated jobs for hundreds of thousands of people in the city and from neighbouring provinces.

However, to make the best use of FDI, Mr Hai asked HCM City to pay special attention to speeding up infrastructure construction and human resources development. He pointed out that as the largest economic hub, the city needs high-quality skilled labour and a corresponding system of socio-technical infrastructure to meet foreign investors’ requirements.

In addition, he said, the city should accelerate administrative reform, iron out snags for businesses and increase the disbursement of FDI in the context of the economic downturn.

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