In an aggressive move to secure its place as a major ASEAN hub, the Ho Chi Minh City government announced that it is seeking $53 billion USD in investment for 210 projects in the city that relate to education, healthcare, sports, tourism, trade and services, and transportation infrastructure.
Nguyen Thien Nhan, Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee, said the city has ambitious plans over the next 15 years that will see it have a competitive advantage because of the high number of working age people, who will be digitally savvy, and who will contribute to HCMC becoming a knowledge-based smart city that connects to the ASEAN market of 650 million people.
HCMC has a goal to maintain its 30% revenue contribution to the country and to increase its overall GDP contribution from 23% to 25%. In order for the city to be able to achieve its goals, Nguyen said that the city need to be able to ensure that enough land is available to attract investment.
According to information previously published by the city, a working group has been created that will look at current land use and the development of urban infrastructure. Two areas of specific concern related to land use are:
• The city wants to determine the best use of 1,000 ha of land that is planned for industrial park development in 2019 and 2020.
• The city wants to determine how to create new industrial zones that will be developed specifically for high technology companies and how they should be integrated with industrial park development
The city will also promote investment in projects for public infrastructure, and those that will transfer new technologies and build Research & Development centers. In order to create synergy with the high-technology research & development centers, the city is also calling for investment in smart city development.
Le Thi Huynh Mai, Director, HCMC Department of Planning and Investment, described four ways that the city can select investors for land-use projects:
• Land use through the collection of land-use fees
• Land use though lease and after the auction of land-use rights
• Land use through bids
• Public-private partnerships
Nguyen Thanh Phong, Chairman of the HCMC Municipal People’s Committee, said that a good investment environment would include not only preferential and incentive policies but also the timely support of the government.”
Le Hoang Chau, Chairman of the HCMC Real Estate Association, said that while the last 10 years have seen the city’s real estate market double in size, it has not met demand and that the most crucial issue for real estate developments across the city is site clearance.
In response to appeals from real estate developers, the city has announced that the process for land clearance will be shortened to approximately 100 days for most developments and that the city will set-up a transparent system so that developers and investors can track the status of their developments.
Of the 210 projects the city is seeking investment in, the HCMC Real Estate Association has said that in its opinion, those projects that relate to urban transport infrastructure, urban embellishment, and trade and services projects should be given the highest priority since they effect the largest number of citizens.