The Ho Chi Minh City Economic Forum was opened on October 18 with the theme: “Developing Ho Chi Minh City into a global financial centre”, drawing the participation of more than 800 domestic and international experts.
The aim of the Ho CHi Minh City Economic Forum was to whip up capital support for the construction of a plan to develop Ho Chi Minh City into a global financial centre.
This plan was assigned by Ho Chi Minh City Finance and Investment State-owned Company and Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (Fulbright).
Talking at the opening of the forum, Ho Chi Minh City Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong expected that the plan to develop Ho Chi Minh City into a global financial centre will become a key national project.
“Becoming a global and regional financial centre is key to bringing Ho Chi Minh City to a new level of economic and social development,” Phong said.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, currently being the biggest financial hub of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City has high potential to become a global financial centre.
Looking back at the past 30 yers of renovation, Dam said Vietnam has maintained a steady pace of development and has always been among the fastest-growing countries in the world.
Vietnam has been reporting growth rates of 6-8 per cent during the last 10 years. In the next ten years, Dam said, the country aims to grow by more than 7 per cent annually.
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung added that the impacts of becoming a global financial centre must be shared with the entire country.
“With its great geographical location of Vietnam, its economic flagship Ho Chi Minh City is well-positioned to develop into a global financial centre,” Dung added.
Setting up a global financial centre is not only a modern economic trend, but also a proof of an active nation which is ready to develop and integrate with the globe, he added.
While the global financial centre is still under construction, Dung boasted that its institution system will be more competitive than other markets in the region.
Vietnam has many advantages to develop Ho Chi Minh City into a global financial centre, including stable GDP, strong foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, as well as the government and local authorities’ efforts to renovate and improve the business environment.
According to Dung, the key factors that make Ho Chi Minh City especially suitable to become a global financial centre are a competitive market, qualified human resources, standard infrastructure system, and good foundation for financial services.
Moreover, Vietnam is in a time zone different from the 21 biggest financial centres in the world. This is an opportunity for Ho Chi Minh City because investors can do business in Ho Chi Minh City even when other financial centres are closed.
In addition, Ho Chi Minh City is now conveniently accessible from other regional financial centres. Its Tan Son Nhat airport now serves flights to 72 cities of 25 countries.
“With the determination and support from the government and local authorities, the business community, and international organisations, we believe that in the near future, the idea of having a global financial centre in Ho Chi Minh City will be realised,” Dung said.
According to doctor Tran Du Lich, member of the Prime Minister’s economic advisory group, during the last 20 years, Ho Chi Minh City’s authorities have been focusing on the development of the financial market. In reality, however, development has not been as fast as expected, therefore the city will still need a long time to become a global financial centre.
“Turning this potential, advantages, and ambition into reality is a big issue not only for Ho Chi Minh City but for the whole country as well,” he said. “However, there is always a first step to starting this long journey. If we don’t start, we will never arrive,” Lich added.
By Bich Ngoc @ VIR