VIETNAM, August 25 –

HCM CITY – HCM City will continue to improve its business climate and create the most favorable conditions for foreign investors, especially those from Singapore, to increase their investment in the city, a commerce official said.

Speaking at a meeting on Tuesday, Nguyễn Phi Vân, deputy director of HCM City’s Investment and Trade Promotion Center (ITPC), said the city has adopted measures to improve its attraction of direct investment. foreigners, especially from Singapore, on the basis of a spirit of equality. , mutual benefit, social responsibility, environmental protection and sustainable development.

President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s recent visit to the city-state earlier this year has confirmed Việt Nam’s strong commitment to enhancing wide-ranging cooperation in many fields, she added.

Located in Southeast Asia with an area of ​​710 m², Singapore is one of the smallest countries in the world with a population of around 5 million.

Its strategic location in the region, along the main maritime routes, has enabled it to become a central seaport with a highly developed market economy.

Singapore-Việt Nam relations have grown significantly since the first diplomatic relations were established in 1973, exemplified by the strong growth of the 21-year-old Việt Nam-Singapore Industrial Park, according to Vân.

Bilateral trade grew more than 23% to $8.3 billion last year despite the pandemic, and reached $4.75 billion in the first half of this year.

The city-state is currently the fourth-largest trading partner and second-largest investor out of 140 countries and territories investing in Việt Nam, with a total registered capital of $66 billion.

It is also the largest investor among 116 countries and territories investing in HCM City with 1,557 projects with a total investment value of nearly $13.6 billion.

Attractive destination of HCM City

Nguyễn Quốc Vinh, head of the center’s Investment Promotion Department, said that with a favorable strategic location and a population of over 10 million, HCM City has great potential to attract foreign investors, especially those of Singapore.

The country’s largest city is calling for investment in 197 projects across information and technology, finance and banking, transportation, oil and gas, infrastructure, retail, from support industry, healthcare, education and others.

Amy Wee, director of the Federation of Singapore Businesses in Việt Nam, said that despite the headwinds caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Việt Nam remains an attractive destination for foreign investors, especially those from Singapore.

She attributed it to the country’s motivating policies, political stability, open and transparent business climate, large population, impressive growth and highly skilled workers.

Singapore’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) want to invest in areas where Singapore has strengths and Việt Nam has demand, such as IT, banking and finance, retail, agriculture , oil and gas, construction, health and transport.

She also highlighted the major challenges facing the country such as low labor productivity, rising labor costs, poor infrastructure and high cost of renting premises in industrial parks. . The country is also still largely dependent on cash payments.

She recommended that Việt Nam focus on improving its legal framework and infrastructure to help keep foreign investors in the country for the long term.

Located in the Southern Key Economic Zone (HCM City and seven surrounding provinces), the city is home to 17 Industrial Parks (IP), including the 913 ha Saigon Hi-Tech Park, and two Export Processing Zones (EPZ).

Its regional gross domestic product (GDP) topped VNĐ729 trillion ($31.3 billion) in the first half, up 3.82% year-on-year after declines of 25% and 11.6% in the third and fourth quarters of last year. , respectively.

Import and export revenue exceeded $64 billion in the first seven months, ranking first in the country.

It received nearly 766,000 international visitors and over 13 million domestic tourists during the period.

So far this year, the city has granted investment certificates to 373 foreign investment projects. VNS