Mr Le Thanh Hai, Leader of the City Party Committee delivered a speech at the Lunar New Year Meeting between City Leaders & FDI Enterprises on 4 March, 2015. AusCham also attended this meeting.

A transcript of Mr Hai’s speech is reproduced below.

Dear all representatives from business associations, investors and entrepreneurs,

Dear all distinguished guests,

On behalf of the leaders of Ho Chi Minh City, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to all business associations, entrepreneurs and investors for participating in the B2G meeting between the city’s leaders and foreign-invested enterprises on the occasion of the Lunar New Year 2015 today. We are grateful for your wonderful comments on Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam and for your interest in doing business in Ho Chi Minh City.

I am very glad to witness the presence of many foreign-invested enterprises which have made great contributions to the City’s economy in recent years, been paying more and more to the state budget, creating jobs for hundreds of thousands of local workers, enhancing the competitiveness and economic restructuring of the City, playing a very important role in building and developing Ho Chi Minh City.

Thanks to your strong support and attachment of business associations, investors and entrepreneurs to us, Ho Chi Minh City leads the country in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). Until the end of the year 2014, there have been over 5,300 operational FDI projects in the city, with a total investment capital (including new and additional investments) of over USD36 billion, making jobs for 22% of the labor force in Ho Chi Minh City.

Thanks to foreign investment funds, many high-rise hotels, office buildings and trade centers have been built up, contributing to making a new face for the City with the development of new urban areas, high-class residential areas and apartments.

Positive impacts of the FDI enterprises have not merely shown by the above-mentioned figures as investors have not only put their money into the City but also brought in with them new technologies, techniques and business know-hows, efforts and a strong attachment to the City. This itself is a important element that has contributed to the economic restructuring, and changing from the wide-spreading growth model to the in-depth growth one.

In this lunar new year meeting today, once again, on behalf of the Ho Chi Minh City Authorities, let me express my appreciation and gratitude to the business associations, the FDI entrepreneurs with your greater and greater contributions to the development of Ho Chi Minh City.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

However, through my practical experiences and from your cooperative, constructive, deeply-felt opinions at this meeting today, I think that there remain many things to do in the coming time to meet up with the reasonable, justifiable expectations of investors and entrepreneurs.

A message the Leaders of the City would like to send to you is that Ho Chi Minh city authorities will make their every effort to improve the investment environment, so that the City becomes a potential destination, a believable, favorable, successful spot for investors. The Ho Chi Minh City Authorities consider troubles facing businesses as the ones facing themselves; as a result, they will accompany with entrepreneurs, try to tackle business problems to meet better the demands for infrastructure, social platform, human resources, a fair and transparent business environment for investors and entrepreneurs.

With that spirit, we focus on the following tasks:

Firstly, furthering reforms of administrative procedures, information technology application; especially attitude and services of officials in order to shorten the time of processing applications of issuing licenses, issuing investment certificate, tax declaration and collection; customs procedure; labor management; declaration and payment of social insurance; land, planning and construction procedures.

Secondly, increasing the frequency of B2G meetings and dialogues to listen and resolve timely the difficulties facing investors and entrepreneurs, endlessly improve business environment in order to build an equal business investment environment and make the rules and policies of Vietnamese government more transparent.

Thirdly, based on the actual situation of the City, advisory agencies have to actively research into proposals and summit them to the Municipal Communist Party Committee, and People’s Committee which in turn will request the Central Government to enforce the most favorable policies for enterprises, including foreign invested enterprises, to expand their production and business.

Regarding FDI enterprises, through this meeting, I hope these enterprises will put more efforts to increase the capability, quality and efficiency of your production activities, continue to invest and expand business and production scales; at the same time keep going along with domestic enterprises to make connections and set up supply chains. I expect business associations, investors and foreign-invested enterprises to have a strong attachment to the City in the process of building and developing a civilized, modern Ho Chi Minh City. When doing business, if you face any difficulty or problem, please respond quickly to the City’s leaders and related municipal departments so that they can offer timely solutions to your business problems, ensuring your business stability.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Lastly, on the occasion of the Lunar New Year, I would like to extend the best wishes, on behalf of the leaders of the City, to all distinguished guests and FDI enterprises in Ho Chi Minh City. I wish you all a lunar new year full of joys and happiness with new achievements. We would like to witness the stronger growth and greater contributions of FDI enterprises to the general development of Ho Chi Minh City and Viet Nam.

Thank you so much for listening.