HCM City sees start of year bump in FDI

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into HCM City has risen sharply - in terms of registered capital and the number of investment licences – over the first two months of 2014, according to the HCM City Department of Planning and Investment.

Speaking at a recent meeting at the HCM City's People's Committee office, Thai Van Re, Director of HCM City Department of Planning and Investment, said in the first two months of the year, the city authority has granted 46 investment licences, up by 12.2% compared with the same period last year, with a total registered capital of US$164.3 million, up by 267.2% on last year.

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In addition, the city authority has approved plans for capital expansion of US$52.6 million for operational projects.

Re said the city's economy remained stable and is showing positive signs of recovery.

In February the city attained total retail sales and service revenues of VND43.4 trillion (nearly US$2.6 billion), an increase of 3.8% over the same period last year, although this was a 27.2% drop from January 2014, according to the report released by the HCM City People's Committee.

The city's total retail sales and service revenues in the first month of the year amounted to VND103 trillion (nearly US$4.9 billion), up by 11.8% compared with the same period last year.

The city's tourism and hospitality industry and transport services also scored growth. The city welcomed some 396,000 foreign visitors in January and 778,000 foreign guests in the first two months, which is an 11% increase over the same period last year.

The early opening of shopping malls after Tet and the market stabilisation programmes in February have helped the city to attain low CPI rate of 0.24% compared with January 2014.

The city has shown growth in other areas too - it reported an export turnover of US$1.8 billion in February, which is up 14.7% and the city's agricultural production scored a 6.3% growth rate over the same period last year.

Also in February, 2,741 new businesses were established in the city, with total registered capital of over VND14.36 trillion (nearly $680 million).

After the Lunar New Year Festival (Tet), enterprises in the city didn't suffer labour shortages like in previous years, because businesses, (in particular companies that employ large numbers of labourers), provided staff with financial help returning home for Tet.

In February, there were 25.000 employment opportunities in the city, including 12,300 new jobs, up by 15.6% over January.

To improve further still on the socio-economic growth, the city's People's Committee has asked district authorities, departments and agencies to focus on efforts to curb inflation, stabilise the macro-economy, and ensure social welfare for its residents.

The city authority asked agencies to further develop market stabilisation programmes to create favourable conditions for enterprises to boost production, and in doing so promote their brands and in the long-term, raise living standards.

VNS/VOV online