|HCM City’s downtown at night. HCM City authorities want the city to become an international financial hub. — VNA/VNS Manh Linh
Nguyen Thien Nhan, secretary of the city’s Party Committee, said, “There’s no better time to do it now.”
As an international financial hub, HCM City, which contributes 45 per cent to the country’s GDP, would enhance socio-economic growth locally, nationally and regionally, he added.
Speaking at a meeting on July 17, Nhan said a feasibility report on the plan would be submitted to the People’s Council in October.
By June 2020, the city is expected to start building a financial centre complex in the Thu Thiem new urban area in District 2.
The city will also report to the Prime Minister by the end of the year on a special incentive policy for the project.
Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, of Fulbright University Vietnam, said the city must have a complete financial ecosystem that meets international standards.
“The international financial centre should conduct cross-border financial transactions and have diverse financial products,” he noted.
Anh, who is a member of the Prime Minister’s economic advisory group, said that HCM City’s location is ideal for an international financial hub.
“The city accounts for only 9.36 per cent of the country's population and 0.6 per cent of the country’s total area, but it contributes 14 per cent to the country’s export value and 27 per cent to State revenue.”
It also accounts for 14.1 per cent of the country’s total foreign investment, said Anh, adding that the city, however, is still not listed among global financial centres.
Economist Tran Du Lich said that HCM City should receive assistance from the Government and should not be expected to shoulder the burden alone.
Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, said a long-term strategy was needed to attract major investors, enterprises and financial institutions to develop the plan.
To develop the plan, the city recently assigned the HCM City Financial Investment Company to work with Fulbright University Vietnam to conduct a survey of major financial centres around the world.
Phong said new policies were seriously needed, including measures to address the lack of high-skilled human resources.
In 2001, the city included the finance sector as one of the city’s nine key services. The sector has had an annual growth rate of 8.8 per cent and accounts for 5.7 per cent of the city’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP).
The city recently solicited investment to build the VND4.9 trillion (US$210 million) financial, banking and trade centre, which is expected to cover 14,500sq.m, according to the Department of Planning and Investment.