At a meeting on the local socio-economic situation in the first half of 2020, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong said the city recorded economic growth of just 2 percent in the period, as the service sector, which accounts for 60 percent of gross regional domestic product, was heavily affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Growth was 7.86 percent in the same period last year.
Though HCM City is home to up to half of all businesses nationwide, 90 percent of local firms are small- and medium-sized enterprises, which are more vulnerable to the pandemic’s impact. Identifying solutions for the second half, Phong told leaders of local departments, sectors, and districts to focus on disbursing public investment, which he said will stimulate overall economic demand, noting that strong disbursement will facilitate growth.
The chairman also stressed that the city must manage to perform the dual tasks of preventing the return of COVID-19 and recovering its economy, and directed authorities to strongly support businesses. In the first six months, total retail sales of goods and services reached 614.59 trillion VND (26.5 billion USD), down 3.7 percent year-on-year.
Accommodation, food, and travel service providers also saw revenue decline. Several indexes, however, still recorded positive performance, such as export turnover rising 5.8 percent year-on-year to about 20.7 billion USD and banking activities posting slight growth, according to Director of the municipal Planning and Investment Le Thi Huynh Mai.