HCM City's economic growth in the first quarter of 2011 reached VND85.5 trillion, up 10.3 per cent from the last quarter.
Workers install equipment to produce gas in HCM City. The City's industrial production has continued to recover.— VNA Photo Ha Thai
HCM CITY —
It includes 10.9 per cent growth of the city's industry and construction sectors, 10 per cent growth of the service sector, and 4 per cent growth of its agricultural production sector.
The latest City growth rate was nearly double the country's growth rate of 5.5 per cent for the same period, said the report released by the HCM City People's Committee at a meeting on Thursday.
During the meeting, the city's business community said the high exchange rate and bank interest rates were the main challenges so far this year.
A representative of the State-owned industrial manufacturing enterprises in HCM City said the city authorities should assist enterprises to buy foreign currencies for material imports.
He asked the market management force to step up the campaign against smuggled and fake goods, as they were flooding the market, making it difficult for local goods to compete.
He said SME goods manufacturers should be given easier access to the city's stimulus loans.
Le Hoang Quan, chairman of the HCM City People's Committee, said the city authorities would discuss with the Governor of the State Bank of Viet Nam and Government agencies about high interest rates and provision of foreign currencies for local importers.
The priority in the second quarter was to curb inflation, the city authorities said.
Enterprises in the city's price stabilisation programme, however, requested that prices of products under the programme be increased.
"We can maintain the low prices for these goods until the end of March," said Nguyen Van Truc, General Director of the Sai Gon Agricultural Products Corp.
"Members of the Price Stabilisation Programme must do their best to keep inflation under control," said Quan.
HCM City People's Committee price stabilisation programme for 2011 that started recently covers three groups of goods including the food and foodstuffs group, which includes rice, sugar, cooking oil, poultry and livestock meat, eggs, processed food, vegetables and seafood; locally manufactured pharmaceuticals for common complaints; and student supplies.
In addition to the shops and stalls already in the programme, in the second quarter of the year, goods under the price stabilisation programme would be sent to traditional markets, kitchens for workers at industrial parks and more remote areas.
Quan asked the city's departments and district authorities to suspend unnecessary projects and to focus on completing the projects that have started.
Nguyen Trung Tin, deputy chairman of HCM City People's Committee, asked the city's industrial production sector to forecast their growth in the coming months given the pressure from material price hikes, exchange rates and interest rates.
Tin also asked businesses and residents to economise their energy usage. — VNS