HCM City sets GRDP growth target of USD37,000 by 2045
The issues were discussed at a conference about HCM City economic development during 2021-2030 period, with a view to 2045 on May 5. HCM City Party Committee Secretary Nguyen Van Nen, HCM City People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong and many leaders, experts and scientists attended the conference.
According to Nguyen Thanh Phong, for the past 45 years, HCM City has been the economic centre of Vietnam. From 2016 to 2019, the city GRDP increased by 7.72% annually. HCM City also contributed over 22% of the GDP and 26% of the state budget. Despite the impacts of Covid-19 in 2020, HCM City still saw 1.39% economic growth and collected over VND371trn to the city budget and contributed over 25% of the state budget.
By 2025, HCM City will be a smart city, with modern industrial and service activities and an economic centre for the southern region and Vietnam.
GRDP per capita in 2020 was USD6,328. The aim is to increase the GRDP per capita to USD13,000 in 2030 and make the city an economic centre of Southeast Asia. By 2045, the city GRDP per capita is targeted to be USD37,000.
NA Deputy Tran Du Lich said the past economic structure, urban planning and management model were unable to fully exploit the city’s potential and rapid development in the last 20 years.
Professor Nguyen Thi Canh from the University of Economics and Law said they needed more measures to deal with the lack of a skilled workforce. The conference gathered 80 essays from the experts.
HCM City’s Department of Health is continuing its focus on developing the application of state-of-the-art healthcare techniques at general and specialised hospitals that its counterparts in Asia have also been pursuing.
In recent years, many new and advanced medical techniques have helped the city’s health sector obtain significant achievements in treatment and prevention.
Sixteen-month-old conjoined twins who were separated by surgery at City Children’s Hospital in HCM City, with their parents and doctors.
One of the outstanding achievements was the surgery to separate 16-month-old conjoined twins in July last year by a team of nearly 100 doctors at City Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital 1 and 2, Cho Ray Hospital and others.
Success such as this has helped the city consolidate its healthcare brand both nationally and globally.
The country’s first surgery to separate conjoined twins was performed 33 years ago at Tu Du Hospital when it lacked modern equipment and had to receive assistance from Japan.
The surgery at that time set a new milestone for the city’s health sector. Dr Tran Dong A, who was the main surgeon to separate the conjoined twins at Tu Du Hospital in 1988, also took part in the surgery on the 16-month old conjoined twins last year.
Speaking at the 10th National Patriotic Emulation Congress, Dr A said that the surgery in July last year to separate the conjoined twins was ranked among the world’s top 10 most complex conjoined-twin surgeries.
The twins were joined at the pelvis and abdomen, and had only one anus between them. They had two bladders located on either side of their common abdomen, an open pubic joint, and pelvises arranged in a circle.
The twins are now healthy and receiving rehabilitation therapy at the City Children’s Hospital. On April 8 this year, the hospital’s doctors performed surgery to close a temporary stomach and create a complete digestive tract for one child, while the other will have an operation to create a real anus when she is two years old.
Dr A said that the surgery was proof of the expertise of the city’s surgeons, anesthesiologists and other medical workers in resuscitation in the paediatric field.
The City Children’s Hospital, which is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and machines, opened in 2018. It is the third paediatric hospital in the city to treat severely ill patients in the city and from the southern region, and to train healthcare staff at district and province-level hospitals.
Many specialised centres in the city have been established in recent years, including the nuclear medicine centre at City Children’s Hospital, as well as others like the cardiac centre at Children’s Hospital 1 and the organ transplantation centre at Children’s Hospital 2.
Other significant medical achievements in the city include the treatment last year of the first two patients who tested positive for the coronavirus in Vietnam at a time when COVID-19 was beginning to spread rapidly in other countries.
This achievement was proof of the professional competence of Vietnamese physicians and the Government’s efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic.
At that time, two Chinese patients, a son who worked in HCM City and his father who was visiting him, were diagnosed with COVID-19 and treated at Cho Ray Hospital.
After 14 days of treatment, the son was discharged from the hospital on February 4 last year. The father recovered and was discharged eight days later.
According to Cho Ray Hospital doctors, the father suffered from diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, and had a surgical resection due to lung cancer. The doctors described the father’s recovery as an “amazing achievement”.
The professional competence of physicians at hospitals in HCM City was once again affirmed following the successful treatment of Vietnam’s most critically ill COVID-19 patient, a British pilot in his 40s.
After 107 days of treatment at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and Cho Ray Hospital, the pilot finally recovered and returned to the UK on July 12 after a request from the UK Embassy in Vietnam. At one point, his condition was so serious that only 10 per cent of the man’s lungs were functioning properly.
The COVID-19 outbreaks over the past year have been controlled well in HCM City as well as in the country, thanks to the determination and efforts of authorities at all levels as well as the public and officials working in preventive medicine.
Robot, AI applications
Other achievements in recent years include the first surgery with the assistance of a Da Vinci robot, performed by doctors at Binh Dan Hospital in the city in 2016.
|Doctors from the Philippines General Hospital observe doctors from Binh Dan Hospital in HCM City use robots to perform surgery on two obese patients to remove part of their stomachs. Photo courtesy of the Binh Dan Hospital|
Using a robot to assist surgery was one of several medical achievements recognised by the Ministry of Health.
Its use has contributed to developing a high-quality specialised medical centre in the city.
Binh Dan Hospital has used robots to assist doctors in treatment of more than 20 kinds of diseases, including cancer. Surgery with robots has been used on 1,256 patients.
Through a magnified 3D high-definition vision system, surgeons can direct the robot’s hands to bend and rotate 540 degrees, far more than a human hand.
In October 2017, Cho Ray Hospital began using robots in minimally invasive surgery.
In early 2019, People’s Hospital 115 in the city created a new milestone in the country’s medical sector when it used a Modus V Synaptive II robot to assist surgery to remove a brain tumour from a female patient from Tay Ninh, a neighbouring province.
The robot was used to assist in the treatment of a patient who had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, according to the city’s Health Department.
The hospital was the first in Asia to use this kind of robot.
People’s Hospital 115 and Gia An 115 Hospital were the first hospitals in the country to use RAPID Artificial Intelligence software to make faster and more accurate decisions on stroke diagnosis and treatment. The software was developed by Stanford University in the US.
For years, HCM City has been famous worldwide for its high-quality IVF (in vitro treatment) treatment for people who want to have children. This field has attracted the highest number of foreign patients and has helped the city develop medical tourism.
Dr Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, former director of Tu Du Obstetrics Hospital, was a pioneer in performing IVF technique in the country, beginning in 1997.
After 22 years of development, the country has helped assisted-reproductive technology develop rapidly in Asia.
The city’s Health Department has plans to use more advanced techniques at units at Tu Du and Hung Vuong obstetrics hospitals and several private hospitals.
Moreover, specialised centres such as the Stroke Centre at People’s Hospital 115, the Dialysis Centre at Nguyen Tri Phuong Hospital, and the Organ Transplantation Centre at Children’s Hospital 2 are continuing to improve their quality and effectiveness.
Besides the development of advanced techniques in diagnosis and treatment, the city’s Health Department has also asked doctors at major public hospitals to give further training to their colleagues at hospitals in many districts.
Following the department’s instruction, hospitals such as Gia Dinh People’s Hospital, People’s Hospital 115, Le Van Thinh General Hospital and Thu Duc City Hospital have provided comprehensive technical assistance to Binh Chanh District Hospital, District 7 Hospital and others.
The doctors from these major hospitals have performed surgeries alongside their colleagues at the district level, and have also worked with them in Red Alert emergency procedures to save severely ill patients.
Thanks to this training method, many district-level hospitals in the city have begun to perform complex surgeries.
Doctors from the trauma and orthopaedics department at Gia Dinh People’s Hospital and Go Vap District Hospital, for instance, successfully performed a hip replacement surgery in March on a 53-year-old patient who had osteonecrosis of the femoral head.
Moreover, many major hospitals in the city have opened satellite clinics at district-level hospitals to train the doctors who work there.
The city’s Department of Health has also invested in upgrading or building new facilities for district-level hospitals.
Many district-level hospitals have sent their doctors to health centres at the grassroots level to provide better primary healthcare services to local residents. This has helped address the shortage of doctors in these localities and has also attracted more local residents.
Health centres in the city in recent years have invested in upgrading their facilities and bought more machines for treatment. The city has 26 ward-level health centres that operate based on family-medicine principles.
Go Vap Health Centre is collaborating with Go Vap District Hospital to provide telemedicine services to local people through an app called True Conf. The city’s Department of Health plans to expand this telemedicine model to other districts. District-level hospitals and grassroots-level health centres have been told to upgrade their medical techniques.
The deputy head of the city’s health department, Tang Chi Thuong, said that the competency of staff members at grassroots-level health centres has improved, which has helped to meet local healthcare demand.
|The HCM City Oncology Hospital last year opened a new facility in District 9 in an effort to reduce patient overcrowding in Binh Thanh District. Investment in the new 1,000-bed facility was more than VND5.8 trillion (US$250 million). VNS Photo Gia Loc|
Speaking at a conference late last year, HCM City People’s Committee chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong instructed the city’s health department to increase investment in facilities for hospitals and other medical establishments.
A high-tech medical cluster including hospitals and medical schools in Binh Chanh, Cu Chi and Thu Duc districts, and Hoc Mon regional general hospital should be ready for use by 2025, Phong said.
According to the city’s health authority, 54 projects have been completed. These include new or upgraded facilities, and new machine purchases for hospitals in the 2015-2020 period. Another 42 projects are ongoing.
The city has also paid more attention over the last five years to developing human resources and facilities to meet increased healthcare demand. It aims to become a professional medical centre in Southeast Asia.
The city’s ratio of doctors in 2020 has increased to 20 per 10,000 people, compared to 14.5 in 2014. The ratio of nurses was 35 per 10,000 people in 2020, compared to 33 in 2014, according to the city’s health department.
The department in recent years has also improved emergency health care by developing the 115 emergency aid network in an effort to provide quality emergency activities outside city hospitals. There are now 35 satellite emergency aid stations in the city.
HCM CITY— Chairman of HCM City People’s Committee Nguyễn Thành Phong ordered the temporary closure of massage parlours, saunas, cinemas, theatres and gaming facilities from 6pm on May 3 amid continuing COVID-19 transmission in several areas in the country.
Organisers of conferences and workshops that had been scheduled for this week should reduce the number of attendees, he said.
Đầm Sen Water Park in District 11 has been closed for seven days from May 3.
Gyms will remain open, but people should comply with the Ministry of Health’s 5K message to wear masks, frequently disinfect hands, maintain a safe distance, refrain from gatherings, and make health declarations.
Religious events and activities should reduce the number of attendees by 50 per cent.
Last week, the city temporarily closed bars, discos and karaoke parlours.
The risk of another COVID-19 outbreak in the city was high as people from provinces and cities had begun to return to the city after a four-day holiday celebrating Reunification Day on April 30 and Labour Day on May 1, Phong said at a meeting on May 3.
Many foreign experts were also entering the city to work, he added.
City authorities and people should be on high alert and maintain strict compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures, he said.
Community-based controls showed that the highest risks were from illegal entrants to the country and from violations at quarantine areas, so “we should focus on controlling these risks,” Phong said.
Offices and schools should instruct their staff, teachers and students to fill out health declaration forms when they return to the city after the holidays. Violators would be fined.
On May 3, Dương Anh Đức, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee, and an inspection team checked the Binh Điền wholesale market and a bus station in District 8, as well as a quarantine area in District 7.
HCM City health officials on April 30 also began taking samples for free COVID-19 tests from people working at or visiting certain sites in the city.
On May 2, health workers at the Bến Nghé Ward health centre in District 1 took random samples from tourists and staff at Sài Gòn Zoo & Botanical Gardens.
All of the samples were sent to the HCM City Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (HCDC). The results will be returned two days later to the people who were tested.
A 23-year-old tourist from the neighbouring province of Bình Dương visiting the Sài Gòn Zoo & Botanical Gardens told local media that she was surprised that samples were being taken for COVID-19 tests. She said that she usually wears a mask when going outside and keeps a safe distance when contacting other people.
On May 1, the District 1 health centre staff took 50 samples from people visiting Nguyễn Huệ pedestrian street.
Earlier, the HCDC took 1,537 samples of people at high-risk areas such as hospitals, tourism areas, cinemas, and commercial centres, among others. All of the test results were negative for coronavirus.
The city said that people entering the city from lockdown areas in the country would be quarantined for 14 days and tested. The lockdown areas include Lý Nhân District’s Đạo Lý commune in Hà Nam Province, the villages Hoàng Xá, Hoàng Các and Nại Khê in Hưng Yên Province’s Phù Cừ District, and the Trung area in Đông Anh District’s Việt Hùng Commune in Hà Nội.
On April 30, Colonel Nguyễn Quốc Hùng, deputy commander of the HCM City Border Guard Command and head of the Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control at HCM City’s Border Gate, said the maritime border force had set up five checkpoints equipped with devices and border guard command forces to ensure COVID-19 prevention and control on sea waters to prevent illegal entrants.
The HCM City Border Guard Command force is strengthening inspections on the Cần Giờ sea in a 23-kilometre long area and in sea areas surrounding Vũng Tàu and Tiền Giang provinces.
At ports, vessels are allowed to dock to pick up and deliver goods, but their crew members are banned from entering the city.
Border guard forces at ports have set up 24 teams to work with agencies to prevent ships’ crew members from entering the city. Surveillance cameras at ports are set up around the clock. VNS
HCM City’s industrial production grew by 3.8 per cent year-on-year in the first three months of the year, and retail sales went up by 12 per cent. It suggests the COVID-19 pandemic has been well controlled and enterprises feel secure about doing business again, according to the city Department of Industry and Trade.
Its director, Bui Ta Hoang Vu, speaks to Viet Nam News about the manufacturing situation in the first quarter and measures needed in the second to sustain it.
How was the retail sector’s performance in the first quarter of the year and what will the department do to stimulate consumption and boost the sector’s growth during the rest of the year?
Total retail sales and services in HCM City in the first quarter of the year were estimated at VND279.04 trillion (US$12.1 billion), an increase of 6.2 per cent over the same period last year. Of this, retail sales were worth VND156.5 trillion ($6.79 billion), a year-on-year increase of 12 per cent.
We enjoyed some growth in Q1. To maintain the momentum we have to do a lot of work to promote trade and production activities. To be specific, we continue to deepen our linkages with provinces and cities in the supply chains for goods and services through agreements we have signed. We will continue to join hands with localities to organise programmes that enable enterprises from other cities and provinces to meet directly with enterprises and traders at wholesale markets in the city so that they can together make market forecasts and prepare goods for the former to meet the city’s demand and vice versa.
In addition, we facilitate businesses’ promotional activities by solving administrative procedures related to promotion activities quickly and conveniently.
Every year the department receives 500,000 applications to carry out promotion programmes from businesses. This year, with an increase in IT use, the number is expected to rise by 10-15 per cent.
We have got the green light from the city People’s Committee to organise consumer promotion fairs and a concentrated promotion programme along with the tourism sector, airlines, transport companies, accommodation establishments, and shopping centres to offer big sales promotions for local and foreign tourists as well as city residents.
We will start organising the concentrated promotion programme this year. Other cities in the region such as Singapore and Bangkok have impressive sales seasons and HCM City will gradually learn from them to become a shopping hub of the country and region.
We will also take steps to stimulate investment, expand land availability for production establishments and improve the quality of human resources for the industrial, trading and import-export sectors.
We are still both fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and intensifying economic activities. Therefore, the first priority is to continue to ensure epidemic prevention at all production and trading facilities.
What do you think about the retail industry’s prospects this year?
With a network of nearly 240 supermarkets and shopping malls, 237 traditional markets and three large wholesale markets, and an increase in digital application in commercial activities, we expect the city’s retail industry to achieve double-digit growth this year.
In this, e-commerce will continue to be the bright spot and could reach a growth rate of 20 per cent.
Many consumers still complain about sales of fake goods on e-commerce platforms. How will your department deal with this issue to make shoppers feel secure when shopping online?
There are certain people who always operate in contravention of the provisions of the law. They sell knock-offs of famous brands or sell products with unclear origins. We have an agency associated with the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Market Surveillance Agency to strengthen inspection and strictly deal with violations like selling of counterfeit goods and products with unclear origins.
The department’s inspectorate has collaborated with the city Department of Information and Communications’ Inspectorate to gather information about online frauds. We work actively and have prevented a number of cases involving companies taking advantage of the online environment to sell illegal goods.
As for industrial production, what will the department do to sustain growth this year?
The city’s industrial production sector has recovered quarter after quarter, with the index of industrial production in the first quarter of 2021 going up by 3.8 per cent over the same period last year (it was down by 0.99 per cent in Q1 2020), with the four key sectors (electronics, mechanical engineering, food processing, and pharmaceutical chemicals-rubber-plastic) growing by 7.5 per cent.
This was thanks to enterprises being proactive in production and trading amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the assistance from the municipal government in addressing administrative issues rapidly and creating favourable conditions for businesses.
We have adopted many comprehensive solutions for improving the investment environment and making it easy for businesses to get land and capital and enhance the use of IT.
In the near future the city will announce policies to help firms operating in the industrial sector operate in a methodical way. We will continue to carry out the investment stimulation programme to enable more firms to get free loans to invest in new technologies and equipment and improve their competitiveness. — VNS
HCM CITY – Outlying Cần Giờ District has been recognised as a new – style rural area after meeting national criteria, Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, said.
Phong spoke at a ceremony held on Tuesday to announce the Prime Minister’s decision on March 30 to recognise the district as a new-style rural area and the Prime Minister’s decision on April 1 to recognise Cần Giờ’s Thạnh An as an island commune of HCM City.
Phong urged local farmers to continue to use advanced techniques to improve yield, quality, production efficiency and added value.
“The recognition of Thạnh An as a HCM City island commune will help local residents benefit from support policies and favourable conditions to develop the economy and catch up with other Cần Giờ communes,” he said.
Thạnh An island commune is one of Cần Giờ’s six communes and has an area of 13,000ha and a population of more than 4,500.
The commune is known as HCM City’s most disadvantaged area.
After being recognised as a new-style rural area, Cần Giờ is now the fourth of the city’s five outlying districts meeting new-style rural area criteria.
The city began implementing the national target programme on building new-style rural areas in 2010. The other three recognised districts are Củ Chi, Hóc Môn and Nhà Bè.
The national new-style rural area programme includes 19 criteria related to planning, transport, irrigation, electricity, schools, income, education and training, healthcare, the environment and food safety.
Nguyễn Văn Hồng, chairman of the Cần Giờ People’s Committee, said the district had a low starting point as its infrastructure was incomplete and the land and natural resources had not been exploited effectively.
The district’s rural areas have now improved significantly, he said.
Hồng said the district targets having all of its six communes recognised as advanced new-style rural areas and three of the six communes recognised as model new-style rural areas in the 2021 – 25 period, he said.
Poverty rate cut
Cần Giờ mobilised more than VNĐ5.8 trillion (US$251.4 million) from the State budget, companies and local residents to implement the new-style rural programme. The district has built 464 works related to transport, irrigation, culture, housing, education, healthcare and electricity.
The district’s annual income per capita rose to more than VNĐ59 million ($2,560) last year, up 3.9 times against 2010. There are no poor households under the national poverty level.
With a population of 73,500 and 59 per cent of them of working age, the district has an employment rate of 96 per cent for labourers. More than 86 per cent of its employed labourers are being trained.
The district’s 38 schools have met criteria set under the programme and 30 of them have met national standards.
All households in the district have access to hygienic water that meets national standards, and more than 95 per cent of the district’s residents have heath insurance cards.
The district reached an annual production value of VNĐ365 million ($15,900) per hectare in 2019, up 22.9 per cent against 2015.
Located 50km from the city centre, Cần Giờ has a total area of more than 70,412ha, including more than 33,000ha of mangrove forests. The Cần Giờ Mangrove Forest was recognised as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2000.
Cần Giờ holds an important position in the city’s economy and national defence as it the city’s only coastal district with a coastline of more than 23km.
The district has more than 20,000ha of sea surface for near-shore fishing, and 10,000ha of land and water surface that can be used for brackish and saltwater aquaculture production, and nearly 1,500ha for salt production. – VNS