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City bounces back from economic crisis

HCM CITY — The HCM City economy has recovered completely and is back at the point where it was before the economic crisis, city legislators told the opening session of the People's Council yesterday.

Pham Phuong Thao, the Council chairwoman, said the city has performed its socio-economic tasks capably this year but admitted they fall short of its potential and requirements.

She listed some major problems like environmental pollution, bad health care services, and traffic.

The city reached 17 of 22 socio-economic targets it had set for itself, only failing to achieve targets related to inflation, wastewater-treatment, water supply, export, and the number of firms penalised from pollution.

Lawmakers agreed on an economic growth target of 12 per cent for next year which will take average income to above US$3,000.

Deputy chairman of the People's Committee, Nguyen Thanh Tai, said the city's economic output this year is estimated at VND420 trillion ($21 billion), a growth of 11.5 per cent.

Industry saw rapid recovery, growing at 14 per cent. The city licensed 29,654 new firms with a cumulative registered capital of VND192 trillion and 414 FDI projects involving investments of $2.5 billion.

A further 122 FDI projects increased their investment.

Work is going on 24 infrastructure projects at a total cost of VND59 trillion (US$2.9 billion), including VND46 trillion from ODA funding.

However, prices have been rising and are set to continue rising in December due to the floods in the central region and epidemics,taking inflation for the full year to 9 per cent. However, it will decrease to below 8 per cent next year, he said.

On several social issues there has been progress this year: The percentage of children under five suffering from malnutrition has been reduced to below 7 seven per cent and the number of hospital beds per 10,000 people has been increased to 42 against a target of 40.

At the penultimate sitting of the People's Council's seventh session, several vital issues like the clogged roads, motorbike racing on the streets, potholes in roads, floods, and child abuse are on the agenda.

The issues will be raised at a question session tomorrow following discussions yesterday and today.

The session wraps up on Friday.

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