Overview of Ho Chi Minh city (Photo: sggp.org.vn)

That is the statement of Nguyen Thanh Phong, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh city People’s Committee, at the Ho Chi Minh city Economic Forum that sought ways to turn the city into a financial hub of Asia and the world on October 18th.

The Chairman of the city said that the financial market is important to mobilizing social resources, a core factor helping boost economic growth in the world’s big cities.

In New York, financial services account for 46 percent of its economy’s added value. The rate is 42 percent in London, 27 percent in Shanghai, and 29 percent in Singapore.

This shows that the financial market-based growth model of big cities and the formation of international financial hubs are vital trends and also necessary to become a global city.

He said that Ho Chi Minh city has identified finance as one of its nine key services since 2001, but the road to become a financial centre is proving to be difficult and complicated.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Ho Chi Minh city has high potential to become a global financial centre. Looking back at the past 30 years of innovation, Vietnam has maintained a steady pace of development and has always been among the fastest-growing countries in the world.

He added Vietnam has been reporting growth rates of 6-8 percent during the last 10 years. In the next ten years, the country aims to grow by more than 7 percent annually.

Moreover, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said that with the great geographical location of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh city is well-positioned to develop into a global financial centre.

He emphasized that setting up a global financial centre is not only a modern economic trend, but also proof of an active nation which is ready to develop and integrate with the globe.

According to him, while the global financial centre is still under construction, its institutions will be more competitive than other markets in the region.

In addition, Vietnam has many advantages to develop Ho Chi Minh City into a global financial centre, including stable GDP, strong foreign direct investment inflows, as well as efforts of the government and local authorities to renovate and improve the business environment.

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. The 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,” said the minister.

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phong affirmed that municipal authorities have pledged to make all efforts to ensure a stable socio-political environment and investors’ legitimate interests, and create optimal conditions for the stable and long-term operation of financial organizations and institutions.

The municipal People’s Committee is scheduled to submit a plan on building the city into a regional and global financial hub next June./.