In a meeting with members of the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) earlier this week, Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, said the city was committed to creating a favourable investment environment for the business community.
“The goal is to help HCM City grow like other East Asian cities. City agencies will outline specific goals and strategies for development,” Phong said. “If these goals aren’t identified and acted upon properly, however, the effort will go to waste. I hope that businesspeople will take part in making HCM City a leading economic hub of the country.”
The city has been working with economic institutes and experts on development plans that will be submitted to the Government for consideration.
“I expect entrepreneurs to be ready to compete with huge brands with high-quality products. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has removed tariff barriers hampering business growth, so entrepreneurs must come up with breakthrough changes to enhance their competitiveness in the market,” Phong said.
The city’s management team will also ensure that urban infrastructure meets the needs of development and creates a dynamic business environment.
Also speaking at the meeting, Don Lâm, CEO of VinaCapital Group, said the city should ensure that products such as bonds or company shares were available for investors to buy and sell because they prefer avoiding contracts that need three to four years of negotiations.
The chairman of the AA Corporation, Nguyễn Quốc Khanh, suggested that large-scale exhibition centres be built to attract more investors.
HCM City only has one major convention centre, a 20,000-sq-metre building in District 7, in contrast to larger centres in Singapore, which has a 200,000-sq-metre centre, and Guangzhou, with an 800,000-sq-metre exhibition centre.
Võ Sỹ Nhân, general director of NP Capital Limited, noted that new policies should be considered for the Thủ Thiêm Urban project to further its potential, in addition to the existing plans to become a major financial centre linked with downtown HCM City, with metro lines and connecting bridges.
He said the city also should streamline the visa-making process and reduce personal income and corporate taxes to attract multinational corporations and large financial institutions.
In addition, the city should re-organise Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport’s taxi pick-up and drop-off areas.
“The airport’s taxi area is very chaotic. We need to re-arrange it to make a good impression on our international friends,” Nhân added.
Agreeing that the airport needs renovation, Phong said he had made recommendations to relevant authorities since the airport is not under the city’s jurisdiction.