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Tony Milton MRICS

BSc (Hons) Est Man

Fast Facts

Date : Sunday, 04 October 2009
Category : HCMC

CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER : Scroll to bottom for latest info


160108-The foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow into HCM City in 2007 is US$2.87 billion, up 27.5% on the previous year. According to the HCM City Department of Planning and Investment, the figure includes US$2.44 billion of 469 newly li¬censed projects and US$428 million of added capital of 198 operational projects. Most projects are in real estate. Last year, the department granted licenses for 18,417 private enterprises with total registered capital of more than US$10 billion, triple the figure in 2006. SGTW

120108- HCMC’s economy in 2007
GDP growth 12.5%
Foreign investment US$2.5 billion
International tourists 2.7 million
HCMC People's Committee

260108-HCMC’s economy in 2007
GDP growth 12.6%
Per capita income US$2,180
Investment for development US$6.25bn or 35% of GDP
Service growth 14.3%
Industry, construction Up 13.6%
Retail trade Up 26.6%
Exports US$18.3 billion, up 17.2%
Foreign direct investment U$2.87 billion
New business establishment 18,400

120208-HCMC plans to achieve a GDP growth rate of 12.7% in 2008 and increase the annual per capita GDP to USD$2,500. VNN

011207-The road area per capita should be 6-10 sqm but is only 1.48 sqm in HCMC so congestion is inevitable. To avoid traffic congestion, the road area per capita should be 6-10sqm and land area for traffic should be 20-30% of the total of urban land. A look at the city map shows that only districts 1, 3, 5 and 10, which were planned under the French rule, meet this requirement. Large surrounding areas grew spontaneously during the last war and in the time of poor manage¬ment after 1975. In such densely populated residential areas there are many alleys and paths, and the land set aside for traffic is less than 5% of the total land. Congestion has been inevitable because the road area per capita is only 1.48 sqm, a quarter of the minimum requirement. The annual subsidy for buses is $38.48 million and that for Nguyen Van Cu bridge and road is $23.73 million. Which op¬tion is better? HCM City should immediately re¬duce traffic congestion by building overpasses and low bridges for mo¬torbikes to cross rivers and canals. The annual subsidy for the bus sys¬tem could pay for tens of these projects. It will take more than 30 years to make up what was not done over the past 50 years, which means that motorcycles will be our street companions for many years ahead. SGTW

280308-Under a HCMC Economics Institute project about US$700 million will be spent on building 165km of dike, which is 10 to 12 meters wide and 2.5 to 3 meters high to prevent tidal water and river floods. They say that a dike will embrace all of districts 2 and 9 and part of Thu Duc District, while another will pro¬tect the rest of the city except the seaside district of Can Gio. These dikes will prevent tidal water from flooding the city. But areas of flooding caused by rainfall make up two¬-thirds of the total in HCMC so some other scientists even totally reject the idea of building a circumference dike system, saying the project might turn the whole city into a great lake. Precipitation is increasing year after year and the circumference dike system will ar¬rest rainfall in inner-city areas pre¬venting the water from flowing into the sea. If the on-going HCMC master plan on flood prevention to 2020 turns out successful, the dike project will be a waste of money. Furthermore, if flooding can be controlled in this one region, can we be sure that other regions neighboring the city will not face worsening floods? Some say the whole city is sinking due to the excessive exploitation of sub-¬ground water and the rampant con¬struction throughout the city. The associate professor with the Geo-Information Center under the National Univer¬sity, using images released from different satellites, said that the terrains in districts 2, 3, 7 and Binh Thanh have sunk: by over 20cm over the past few years, while in many other districts, the land has sunk by between to and 15cm. "While the sea level has risen by 10cm compared to 20 years ago, the sinking land will result in more widespread flooding in the city.” SGT

310308-In the first 3 months of the year, HCMC attracted USD$1.84 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI), of which 98.4% went to real estate and consultancy services. Of the total 95 FDI projects licensed in the city so far this year 27 were JV projects worth USD$889.3 million and 68 were 100% foreign-in¬vested projects with capital investment of USD$957.6 mil¬lion. The city has 2,731 FDI projects with a total invest¬ment of $19.2 billion. Compared with the same period last year, FDI in¬creased 31% in capi¬tal and 22.8% in the number of FD1 projects. Most of the projects are in industrial production, real estate, consultancy ser¬vices, transport, warehouses services and telecom ser¬vices. South Korea tops the list of foreign investors with the highest number of ef¬fective FDI projects, up to 601 projects worth USD$2.84 billion, accounting for 14.8% of the city's total foreign investment capital. So far this year, HCM City has licensed operation per¬mits for 3,952 domestic companies with total legal capital of VND12.08 trillion ($750 million). The amount represents an increase of 77.8% in capital and 32.2% rise in the num¬ber of companies com¬pared with 2007. VNN

100408-HCMC attracted 95 FDI projects with total capital of US$1.85 billion in the first quarter. JVs accounted for 27 capitalised at USD$890 million and 100% FIEs for 68 capitalised at USD$958 million. Real estate and consulting make up 98.4% of the capital with 51 projects capitalized at US$1.82 billion. Plus the amount of US$70.5 million in increased capital of 22 operational projects, the total FDI inflow into the city in the period is US$1.92 billion. The city is now home to 2,731 valid FDI projects with combined capital of US$19.2 billion. South Korea has the largest number of operational projects with 601 capitalized at US$2.84 billion. SGTW

120808-HCMC has a total natural area of some 2, and some 60% of the area is low lying land crisscrossed by some 7,880km of rivers and canals. SGT

300908-HCMC : -
Inflation - 19.56%
Retail Trade & Service Revenue - $8.62bn
Exports - $7.89bn – up 21.3%
Imports - $12.5bn – up 28%

310908-HCMC's gross domestic product (GDP) in the first 9 months of the year expanded 10.5%, 1.2 percentage points lower than the same period of last year, due to the economic slowdown at home and abroad. SGT

021108-HCMC's ports handle well over 50 million tonnes of goods a year. A few years ago the Govern¬ment projected them to handle a mere 26 million tonnes by 2010 and 35 million tonnes in 2020. The general secretary of the Viet Nam Ports Association, said growth in container cargo, which is at 3.4 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) a year now, was growing at 25% a year. City authorities are set to revise the goods-handling target to 100 million tonnes per year by 2010 and 200 million tonnes by 2020 in a bid to deal with the speedy growth in goods volume through ports. They are also carrying out a Government-approved plan to move 11 city ports along the Sai Gon River to suburbs, with five of them to be relocated by 2010. But so far only New Port has been moved to Cat Lai Port in Dis¬trict 2. The other 4 - Ba Son Ship¬ yard, Sai Gon, Tan Thuan Dong, and Rau Qua ports - are still in the process of carrying out land acqui¬sition and other preliminary work. VNN

The HCMC People's Council has rejected a re¬quest by 5 State-owned environmentally destructive companies for an extension on the imposed 5 year time limit for relocating their factories from the inner city to the suburbs. Vissan told the council that the company had been meeting many difficulties in completing administrative procedures for land and capital to relocate. "With these difficulties, we ask for an extension until 2013 instead of by 2009 as earlier promised." Having the same reasons as Vissan, leaders of Saigon Garment and Phong Phu Garment of Gia Dinh Garment Corporation and Nam Phong Factory of Saigon Agriculture Corporation also wanted to extend their relocation to 2010. These petitions were opposed by the council as unfair and unreasonable when more than 1,300 other compa¬nies have abided by the relocation program. "I think if you're private or foreign-owned company, you dare not give these excessive claims.” He added he rejected the petitions because many of these companies had been continuing to assault the environment. Many similar petitions had been filed and rejected. Relocation started in 2002 yet 140 companies remain as they were. The polluter relocation program has proved to be a failure as the factories evicted from the inner city are causing pollution in the outlying places where they are now based. The Head of the council's Economic and Budgetary Committee, admitted many relocated companies are destroying the environment on the suburbs. "The city's scheme for industrial development has been showing its failure because it does not meet the economic development, but also does not meet the need for environmental protection.” SGT

121108-The highest tide in 48 years since 1960 submerged many parts of HCMC, and the dreary situation will remain for the next few days. SGT

151208-An annual investment of more than USD$1 billion is required for infrastructure projects in HCM City that will build and upgrade a network of national highways and re¬gional speedways by 2025 includ¬ing No. 1a and 1k and to speed up construction of 7 regional speedways, 4 urban highways and the city's belt-lines by 2025. Some 6 metro routes with a combined length of 107 km and 3 urban railroad routes with a total of 35 km need to be completed in the same period, and 6 more water supply projects and 10 wastewater treatment plants will be also completed by 2025. All these projects in HCM City require a total in¬vestment of USD$15 billion. VNN

061208-According to the HCM City Depart¬ment of Transport, the city has 3,800 buses meeting 6% of the transport demand. The city aims at having 15,000 buses by 2015 to meet 15% of the commuter demand. SGTW

0301089-The HCMC economy, despite the global eco¬nomic recession, has managed a GDP growth rate of 10.7% in 2008, sending the GDP per capita to an average of US$2,534 given the city's population of 6.84 million people (calculated on the average exchange rate of VND16,700 for 2008), or a total of US$17.33 billion, an increase of only 10.7% against 2D07, or the low¬est growth since 2003. According to the GSO the proportion of city households liv¬ing under the poverty line has been reduced to 0.34% and there is no household with an income lower than US$359 per year. Investment for development last year was approximately US$6.9 billion - a year on year increase of 21.2%, and the CPI growth was put at 22.24%. SGT

050109-HCMC attracted USD$8.65bn in 2008 – 5 times higher than 2007. The figure would not decrease in 2009 according to the DPI. Of this, USD$7.83bn came from new projects and the rest from 110 expanded ones. Disbursed FDI in 2007 reached nearly USD$10bn. FDI accounted for 27% of export revenues compared to only 10.3% in 1995. VNN

070109-According to a report from Binh Chanh District's People's Committee, 281 companies out of the 720 companies violated environmental standards in 2008. Many canals are heavily polluted and cannot provide water for agricul¬tural production. Binh Chanh is the city's most polluted district. VNN

070109-HCMC’s Economic Targets for 2009 :
GDP 10.5%
Exports 16.5%
Total Investment VND130tr / $7.65bn
Employment : Jobs for 270,000
Inflation : Below 15%
Poverty Rate : Below 13.8%

250409-HCMC has only 0.06% of Vietnam’s total area but 9% of the population. VNN

150509-At least 88 infrastructure projects in HCM City have been delayed for at least 3 years. The MPI blamed the delay on the increase in investment costs, construction materials costs and a slowdown in site clearance as well as the poor quality of bidders. Among the delayed projects are the river embankment along the Sai Gon River in Hoc Mon District that would prevent flooding in the city's suburban districts. VNN

150509-HCMC’s current drainage system can meet only 30% of the actual demand, while scientists have warned that multi-million ¬dollar drainage projects now be¬ing undertaken will soon become out of date upon completion. According to the city's Depart¬ment of Transport, the total length of the current drainage pipelines across the city is around 1,000km, meeting less than one-third of practical needs. Many streets and residential areas still don't have a proper drainage system and several rivers and canals have been flattened be¬cause of inadequate planning, which has worsened flooding in the city. To tackle the problem, an ap¬proved master plan until 2020 en¬visages the city will build 2,500km of open sewage to drain rainwater and another 2,000km to collect wastewater from 8 fac¬tories. Most of the projects were de¬signed based on the database on rainfall and strong tides during the 1999-2000 period, during which the drainage system was designed to tackle only 90-98mm rains cit¬ing the occurrence of 100-mm rain every 3-4 years. Recent observation, however, shows that there are heavier rains of more than 100mm, which will ultimately make the ongoing installation of new drainage pipes outdated and overloaded. VNN

180509-In mid-2009 it was announced that the 3rd Phu Lam-Mien Dong Coach Station metro route will be divided into 2 sub-systems of 3A of Ben Thanh-Mien Tay Coach Sta¬tion and 3B of Ben Thanh-Thu Duc Hiep Binh Phuoc Ward, while the 1st route will be extended to join the 3rd at Cong Hoa Intersection, with 2 additional maintenance depots for the 3rd & 4th routes at Thu Duc & District 12. HCMC will have about 6 metro routes by 2020 according to the amended zoning map. SGT

100609-In mid 2009 the Ministry of Construction announced that HCMC was expected to become a regional with an area of more than 300, according to the 2010-50 master plan. VNN

250609-In the best scenario HCMC can only reduce half of the number of flood-prone sites after 5 years, meaning at least 50 frequently-flood¬ed areas in the city persist despite great efforts and money are spent to ward off the chronic problem. Given increasing rainfalls, many sewerage systems under construc¬tion- around the city will be over¬loaded in the coming years. According to the HCMC Flood Control Center, there are over 100 flood-prone sites in HCMC, includ¬ing some 60 sites scattered in inner districts. The deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said they were working on a master project to control flooding in the city which needs a total investment of VND11.2tr / $628m for building a 164 km dike together with some 12 huge sew¬ers to control flooding over an area of some 1,900 hectares. However, an official of the city's Flood Control Center wondered if the ministry's project could have high connectivity with flood-fighting projects being deployed in the city. SGT

280709-HCMC to date has accepted 3,368 valid FDI projects totaling $27bn. SGT

310709-HCMC has around 3,370 FDI projects with a total capital of $27bn. By early 2009, over $10bn of FDI had been disbursed or nearly 40% of the total registered capital. SGT

010909-Some 233 projects with total committed capital of $733m received investment certificates between January and August this year in HCMC. Of these, projects in the property and service sectors accounted for 71.1% with a total of 113 projects and com¬mitted capital of $528.5m. Altogether, the economic hub had 3,397 ongo¬ing projects, with total investment capital of $27.2 billion. Last year, Ho Chi Minh City saw its third consecutive year securing record FDI figures, including mega projects with capital of over $1 bil¬lion. VIR

220909-HCMC is incurring losses amounting to VND14tr / $786m per year due to worsening traffic congestion, according to a scientific research compiled by a professor at the HCMC University of Technology. The research suggests the city quickly upgrade its public transport system. According to the research, the situation could be improved by 2015 if public transport is well developed. SGT

250909-The department of construction said the city needed VND14-15tr ($777-¬833m) a year on average for spending on traffic infrastructure but managed only 30% of the amount. It had to resort to build-operate¬transfer (BOT) and build-transfer (BT) mechanisms or seek Govern¬ment permission to issue bonds. "But the BOT system was not ap¬propriate in some cases while the city could not afford to pay inves¬tors in case of BT." The city also struggled to find enough land for "exchanging land for infrastructure ", since it no longer had much at its disposal. VNN

051009-HCMC will need about $4bn from now to 2025 to develop Saigon Water Supply Corp’s water supply infrastructure facilities according to ADB research. If implemented, the rate ow water losses are expected to fall 20% and water supply capacity increase 3-fold. The length of pipelines needed are expected to double by 2025. SGT

061009-The HCMC Centre for Flood Control is preparing to map iste in the city prone to flooding to minimixe the negative impacts of climate change that are to worsen over the next decades. “For adaptation to climate change, I think the city needs to build ecological wate rreservoirs to regulate rainwater and an adequate drainage system for discharged waste¬water." According to the center, the city has only 2 ,000km of sewers, equivalent to only 1/3rd of its road length. Technically, each km of road requires at least 2 kilometers of sewer. SGT

241209-The inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the city in 2009 fell by a sharp 86% to just over US$1.2 billion. Nearly 370 foreign invested projects had been licensed this year with US$840m in committed capital, falling by 28% and nearly 90% on 2008. In 2009 the biggest project is worth US$294m. Experts said the city's drive to encourage eco-friendly services and hi-tech andless labor intensive projects in sectors such as animal feed, dried food production and textile and garments has had an impact on investment activity. However, FIEs have boosted their capital in the city this year. A total of 114 operational foreign invested projects injected more than US$370m up 3.4%. SGT

281209-The city's socio-economic achievenmf in 2009 : -
- GDP growth rate 8%
- Total budget revenues VND128.47tr / $69.95 up 3.8%
- Per capita GDP over VND46.3m / $2,504 up 21.1%
- Export value US$12.1bn up by 1.3%
- Retail sales and service turnover VND291.59tr / $15.77bn up 19.2%
- Transport service up 17.9%
- Industrial production value up 6.3%
- Agriculture-forestry-fisheries production value up 2.7%.
- 289,600 new jobs created
- Crime rate down 10%
- Tourists: 10.52m
- Foreign tourists 3.5m up 11%. VNN

250110-HCMC will strive to reach 7.7%, 20% and 12.7% yoy increases in industrial growth, retail and service revenue, and export revenue this year, according to the city Department of Industry and Trade. Despite the global economic downturn, HCMC in 2009 earned VND 181tr / $9.79bn from industrial production value, accounting for 27% of the national value. SGT

260210-HCMC aims to attract $8.4bn in FDI according to the DPI and hopes that $1.43bn will be implemented this year. It attracted only $2bn in 2009 – down 77% on 2008. VNN

090310-According to the HCM City Department of Transport, with the current transport system, it takes an hour to reach the Thu Thiem urban area from Tan Son Nhat Airport. When the elevated expressway is com¬pleted, vehicles will need 12 minutes, travelling at 80km per hour. According to the city's plan, there are 4 routes to be built through 2020. The 1st route begins at Tan Binh District's Cong Hoa Street, stretching along Nhieu Loc - Thi Nghe Canal and connecting at Nguyen Huu Canh Street, Dis¬trict 1. The 2nd route starts at District 10's To Hien Thanh Street and ends at belt road No 2. The 3rd route link with the 2nd route at To Hien Thanh Street, spanning along Le Hong Phong and Ly Thai To streets and connect with Nguyen Van Linh Street. The 4th route links Na¬tional Highway No 13, passing Sai Gon River to Dien Bien Phu Street. All of the 4 routes link with each other. VNN

240310-Volker Martin, director of Megacity Re¬search Project for HCMC, said that under some scenarios of climate change in HCMC, some districts would be at high risk of negative impacts includ¬ing the southern part of District 7, Binh Chanh, Nha Be, District 9, the eastern part of Cu Chi District and District 12 east of the Saigon River. "Because of global warming, local problems will not be solved soon. I be¬lieve that HCMC people must learn to live with sea level rise, heavier rainfall and extreme flooding.” Martin said. Martin said that after nearly five years ayf researching dykes here, he found out that the city could not prevent flooding and that it needed more green buffer sites for rainfall absorption. While looking for long-term strate¬gies for coping with climate change, the HCMC government last week petitioned the Prime Minister to provide VND2.7tr / $141m to build 5 large sewers to con¬trol the high level of seawater. The city suffers 96 submerged sites caused by rains and 67 caused by high tides. VNN

200410-FDI into HCMC fell 21% in the first four months of this year to nearly US$444 million committed to 112 new projects, compared to 93 proj¬ects worth more than US$565 million in the year-ago period. However, the contraction was 17% if additional funds injected into operational projects are taken into account, as the combined FDI amount in the period was US$526 million, equivalent to nearly 83% of that in the same period last year, ac¬cording to the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment. The city attracted only US$1.4 billion in FDI in 2009, down 84% compared to 2008. HCMC has attracted the most FDI of all localities in Vietnam. As of mid-March, the city had 3,604 operational FDI projects worth US$27.8 billion. SGT

200710-The HCM City Department of Trans¬port has set itself a target of building 50 new bridges and 210km of roads by 2015 to meet the city's burgeoning needs caused by the increasing number of vehicles. With [this], the percent¬age of land for traffic will edge up to 8.18% of the total city area. The percentage is now 5.84% thanks to 523.5km of road and 84 bridges built in the last 5 years. The department said with 80 private cars and 1,300 motorbikes reg¬istered every day, public transport meets only 7.3 per cent of the city's need. Attempts would be made to expand public transport so that it meets 12% of the need and reduce conges¬tion on the roads by 10 per cent in the next 5 years. VNN

240910-An alarm¬ing land-surface subsid¬ence has been seen in 14 districts in HCM City according to director of the Geomatics Centre of the National University HCMC The pace of the land ¬surface sinking had acceler¬ated recently due to rapid urbanisation and unchecked exploitation of underground water. Land surface in many ar¬eas had subsided by 20-30cm, and in some places. had sunk by 50cm since 2004 many with a sinking rate of 7-10mm per year. "The decrease in underground water due to a massive use of concrete and filling of canals caused by urbanization and the increasing exploita¬tion of the underground water are major reasons behind the ground surface deformation." VNN

011010-Economists have come up with the Financial Center Index (FINDEX) to gauge how developed a financial hub is. While official quantitative research on this matter is still nowhere to be found, such criteria as stock market capitalization, the number of foreign financial institutions and branches of multinationals, as well as the total means of payment via banks and the stock market seem to suggest that HCM City is poised to become Viet¬nam's financial hub. A recent report by the Securities Industry Association (the US) indi¬cates that a reputable financial hub must have (1) a stable economic-po¬litical system, (2) a fair, transparent, effective and sound tax system, (3) skilled labor and a flexible labor mar¬ket and (4) high-quality infrastruc¬ture. In a financial hub, the market is fair and open; capital can flow freely; the labor market is flexible; interna¬tional standards are adopted; English is used widely; the legal framework is well-developed to ensure equity, transparency and efficacy; taxes are fair and justified; business costs are low; and infrastructure is excellent. Of course HCM City's performance on these criteria and other yardsticks still leaves much to be desired. SGTW

251010-Around 26% of HCMC residents are suffering from effects of climate change and the figure may rise to 60% in 2050 according to the Asian Development Bank. SGT

241110-The Ministry of Transport has submitted to the Government a traffic development plan under which the Southern Key Economic Zone will need VND681tr / $34.9bn for traffic infrastructure during the 2011-2020 period. The sum includes VND326tr / $16.7bn for roads and VND168tr / $8.6bn for railroads. SGT

301110-The Ministry of Natural Resources and Envi¬ronment flooding scenario forecasts that the sea level may rise about 30cm by 2050 and 75cm by the end of the century. This would place more than, or 10% of HCMC under water. VNN
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