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Mega-city to provide financial stability
Posted on JANUARY 12, 2013 Written by VIETNAMNEWS
HCM CITY (VNS)— Experts have urged Viet Nam to learn from the experiences of neighbouring countries that recovered from the financial crisis of 1997-1998 by launching major state projects, thus helping companies avoid bankruptcy.

During the Asian financial crisis in 1997, many countries began state projects that helped avert financial doom for many companies.

Plans for a mega-city in southern Viet Nam would also help financial stability, experts said.

“HCM City is a large metropolitan area with a strong business community and should be the centre for a mega-city. But the question is how best to connect the city and other neighbouring provinces,” said Le Thanh Tam, CEO of the International Data Group (IDG) ASEAN, and forum organiser.

Tam spoke at the second CEO World Forum held yesterday in HCM City. Attending the forum were policymakers and leaders from HCM City and the provinces of Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Long An, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Lam Dong, as well as international researchers, local enterprises and foreign investors.

Le Manh Ha, deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said that a natural linkage between HCM City and other provinces had been established on traffic, healthcare, education, science and technology and creation.

“Telecommunications and the internet have helped connections all over the world,” he added. “But how can we tighten State management and reduce inadequacies related to the region’s socio-economic development?”

Dinh Quoc Thai, chairman of the Dong Nai People’s Committee, said the central government had already approved the master plan for the southeastern region with six provinces and the HCM City region with eight provinces.

“All our investment and development activities have been carried out based on these two plans, but in reality there has not been much connection among provinces,” he said.

Le Manh Ha said local deployment was critically important to the success of the master plan.

“The central government should release instructions along with a clear budget. If we don’t have a fixed amount of money for regional development, how can the local governments build a mega-city,” he said.

To solve the problem, Nguyen Tri Dung, president of the Japanese-based NICD company, said that a regional council should be set up immediately with a standing secretary board that would ensure that regional activities occurred more frequently.

The participation of enterprises would be important as well, he said.

In addition, smaller provinces should solve minor problems while the central government should focus on big issues.

“A science-technology consultancy council, including the involvement of enterprises, should be created and should work along with the regional council,” he added.

At the forum, participants heard opinions from the International Monetary Fund’s representative about Viet Nam’s and ASEAN’s economic development prospects.

A five-panel roundtable discussed various issues, including a mega-city infrastructure; opportunities for enterprises and investors; public-private partnerships across different cities; and opportunities and challenges for small- and medium-sized enterprises in a mega-city.

Also discussed were wholesale and retail market development; opportunities for supply-chain enterprises; and development of a smart city. Leading international researchers, local enterprises and foreign investors would all be involved in such efforts. —VNS

Source: VietNamNews, talkvietnam

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