HCM City economy remains strong despite COVID-19

Despite struggling to cope with a COVID-19 resurgence, Ho Chi Minh City managed to achieve positive economic growth in the first seven months of the year, according to the city Statistics Office.

Its industrial production index (IIP) increased by 2.3% during the period, with its  four key industries, food and beverage, pharmaceutical chemistry, electronics, and mechanical engineering growing by 2.15% annually on average.

This is considered a bright spot in the context that the city has to cope with the fourth wave of the pandemic, while a number of its partner countries are also dealing with the pandemic, affecting imports of raw materials.

The city needs to continue to perform pandemic prevention tasks well and promote production at locations where there are no infections, the office said.

Enterprises need to keep a close eye on the situation and safely and effectively carry out production, it added.

Exports by city enterprises (including crude oil) rose by 8.8% to over US$24.6 billion.

Five items exceeded US$1 billion each, including computers, electronic products and components, garment and textiles, machinery, equipment, tools and parts, and footwear.

The pandemic impacted retail sales of consumer goods and services, which reduced by 1.8% to VND583.19 trillion (US$25.5 million), but the tourism and travel industry was affected the most.

In the year until mid-July 20,906 enterprises with a total registered capital of VND350.4 trillion (US$15.3 billion) were set up, year-on-year decreases of 4.6% and 9.1%.

Foreign direct investment in the first seven months reduced by 25.1% to just US$1.78 billion.

Tax and other revenues were up 18.1% to VND230.82 trillion (US$10.1 billion).

An official from the city tax department said it was expected that collections in the coming months would be affected.

In July they decreased by VND2 trillion from June, while in June they decreased by VND1 trillion.

Le Duy Minh, director of the department, said to help enterprises, business households and individuals revive their business, the department had strived to help them get VAT refunds quickly.

Tax collection for the rest of the year would be a struggle and require comprehensive and effective measures, he said.