The HCM City economy grew at a rapid 7.86 per cent in the first half of 2019. — VNS Photo Ngoc Diep

HCM City’s economy grew by 7.86 per cent year-on-year in the first half of the year to VND611.5 trillion (US$26.3 billion).

The city People’s Committee announced this on July 19 at a meeting held to review the socio-economic performance in the first six months and finalise plans for the remaining months.

During the period the service sector grew at 8.06 per cent, industry and construction at 6.7 per cent and agriculture at 6.01 per cent.

Retail sales increased by 12.2 per cent to VND558.5 trillion ($23.99 billion).

Exports grew an estimated 9.2 per cent to $19.6 billion.

Foreign direct investment was worth $3.21 billion, up 20 per cent.

A total of 4.25 million international tourists visited the city, an increase of 10.9 per cent, with revenues from tourism topping VND73 trillion ($3.13 billion).

Speaking at the meeting, People’s Committee chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said the city must make greater efforts to achieve its target of 8.3-8.5 per cent economic growth this year.

The city still faces many challenges such as illegal constructions; shortcomings in resolving cases related to land, site clearance and compensation; problems related to waste management and environmental protection, African swine fever; and rising drug crimes.

He called on the heads of government agencies and district leaders to focus on accomplishing eight major missions this year.

They include administrative reform, investment promotion, equitisation of State-owned enterprises, urban planning and management, clearing obstacles to speed up the progress of key projects, science-technology-innovation development, international cooperation, and ensuring national defence and security and maintaining social order and safety.

The city would continue two projects on developing logistics and e-commerce, he added.