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|The HCM City Business Association and the Foreign Affairs Department sign an agreement for overseas trade promotion. - VNS Photo Hoang Nam|
Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of the People’s Committee, said: “The city authorities have always sought ways to improve the quality of economic growth and competitiveness. Only the business community can provide answers.
“Product quality is the most important factor in competitiveness. Innovation and modern technology are imperatives for better quality.
“The city will link up the business community with universities to connect innovation and research with real production.”
Though HCM City is the country’s biggest economic hub, it is home to only 10 of its 40 biggest brand names, he said.
“The city will offer incentives to encourage large companies, which account for only 1.4 per cent of its 350,000 enterprises, to take part in international supply chains.
“HCM City has not got any specific major product and the city has instructed the Department of Industry and Trade to choose products.”
He said on August 11 the city would release the master plan for 26,246 hectares of land that have been converted from agricultural cultivation to other purposes of use.
“Around 2,000ha will be used for building industrial parks and processing zones, with a focus on innovation industrial zones.”
Nguyen Hoang Ngan, general director of Binh Minh Plastics Company, said most major brand names in the city like Vinamilk, Sabeco and Binh Minh have been sold to foreign investors.
“How did local authorities spend the huge amounts of money raised by selling them? What benefit is the Government getting from such deals? If we sell all big brands, what do we have left?”, Ngan questioned.
Tran Anh Tuan, general director of Sao Bac Dau, a technology company, urged the city to announce its development strategy in the era of the fourth industrial revolution.
“They should clarify what core technologies the city will apply, what the incentives are for high-tech enterprises.”
Chu Tien Dung, chairman of the HCM City Business Association, called on the city to pursue administrative reform.
He also wished that enterprises are not inspected more than twice a year and business representatives are consulted from the outset when framing new policies to ensure smooth implementation.
“Local enterprises do not seem to have any chance to bid for ODA projects because ODA projects now are being carried out mostly by foreign companies and the treatment of foreign and domestic businesses is not equitable.”
Dung also called on the city to budget more funds for overseas trade promotion.
He revealed that 23 out of 30 complaints made by companies at the last meeting in March have been resolved.
City Party Secretary Nguyen Thien Nhan and officials from related departments also attended the meeting.
At the meeting, the Business Association signed an agreement with the Foreign Affairs Department for overseas trade promotion.