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HCM City aims to become regional financial centre

Tran Du Lich, a member of PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc Economic Advisory Council, speaks about HCM City’s wish to become a national financial centre.

A corner of HCM City seen from the Sai Gon River.  — VNS Photo Trong Kien

What is stopping HCM City from becoming a financial centre of the region?

Resolution No. 20 of the Party Politburo in 2002 laid down a goal to turn HCM City into a national trade centre for Vietnam and the ASEAN region. By 2012, this plan was once again re-iterated in Resolution No.16 of the municipal Party Committee.

At the ninth congress of the HCM City Party Committee, the city’s financial market again was defined as one of the nine major services of HCM City. This goal has remained valid.

In 2006, HCM City adopted a proposal to develop the city into a national financial market by 2010 with a vision to 2020. Until now the proposal remains on paper.

What do HCM City authorities have to do to turn their plan into life?

In my opinion, to make HCM City an international financial centre, it is a national issue, not just for HCM City.

There are four issues which must be properly addressed.

1.  What’s the role of the financial market in HCM City in the context of the young national financial market of Vietnam?

2.  What are the criteria for a national financial centre?

3.  What is the legal framework for the operation of that financial market?

4.  What are the conditions to be acknowledged as a regional financial centre?

The development of the national financial centre and in HCM City is quite different in the capital relationship, particularly in the midterm and long term with the capital market.

What conditions does HCM City need to become a national financial centre and even a regional centre?

Economically speaking, HCM City must become a development locomotive for the country and also for key economic regions in the south. In addition, the city should act as a locomotive for the development in the Mekong Delta and the Central Highlands.

What’s more important, HCM City's economic growth should be higher – about 1.5 times than that of the national average. The city should become a main gate in the national and international economic trade. Last but not least, the city must improve its competitiveness in the fields of institutions, human resources and infrastructure development.

The second condition is that the city should have is that it should develop a large scale concentrated financial market for the service of the Vietnamese market as well as regional and international markets.

The third condition is that the city should pool efforts to become a national and international financial centre. Of course, to achieve this goal, the city needs strong support from the central Government.

Will you please talk a little bit about a roadmap for HCM City to become a regional financial and international centre?

The plan to make HCM City a regional/international financial hub should be stated clearly in the national strategic economy. This is a very important condition for the National Assembly and the Government to develop policies and a specific mechanism to make the plan become a reality.

In addition, HCM City needs to enhance its role as a locomotive for the key economic region in the south and also act as an international commercial centre. Adding to that, HCM City should be acknowledged as an urban centre with its administrative boundary not limited within the HCM City administrative boundary.

Of course, to turn HCM City into a financial centre, we need to divide it into three phases, with the first phase from now to 2025. In this phase, the key mission is to complete all the necessary infrastructure for the financial centre.

In the second phase from 2026-2035, the key mission is to complete its institutions, human resources and urban infrastructure. And in the third phase from 2035, the main task is to develop an international financial market.

We are confident that with strong support from the central Government and efforts from the HCM City authorities and the people, HCM City will become a national financial centre and then regional and then an international financial centre in the years to come. VNS/SGGP

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