Ho Chi Minh City sets high goals as new financial hub

(ĐTTCO) - The plan to create an East City that will serve as a vibrant financial district in Ho Chi Minh City has now been approved by the State Government. The East City will be known as Thu Duc City with the merger of three districts of Ho Chi Minh City.
Ho Chi Minh City sets high goals as new financial hub

The vast area of Thu Duc City will cover District 2, District 9 and Thu Duc District, and is expected to develop as a strong financial hub with the latest modern technology and infrastructure.

Boost to economy

The current plan to develop East City as a financial center has been under consideration for some time now. The entire areas of District 2, District 9 and Thu Duc District will merge to form this new financial district. This consideration has been based on the existing infrastructure in these three districts. While Thu Duc District already has several major universities such as the National University of Ho Chi Minh City besides eighteen other important universities, District 9 has a nuclear high-tech park and District 2 has the Thu Thiem new urban area, which all will merge to support the making of a strong financial district.

In recent years, the Eastern urban area of Ho Chi Minh City has received the most number of investments for the development of various transport infrastructure projects. Statistics for the last ten-year period from 2010 to 2020 show that Ho Chi Minh City invested in 216 traffic infrastructure projects at a total capital cost of VND 350,000 bn, of which 70% was for the eastern urban area of the City. According to Mr. Nguyen Thien Nhan, Ho Chi Minh City Party Secretary, the merger of the three districts will certainly boost the economy and is expected to contribute upto 30% of the GRDP of the City, which is 4% GDP of the country. This means that the setting up of this financial hub will contribute three times more towards the economy.

At the 43rd meeting of the Party Committee of Ho Chi Minh City which took place on 24 July, Mr. Nguyen Thien Nhan, Ho Chi Minh City Party Secretary, emphasized on the establishment of a new growth area by merging District 2, District 9 and Thu Duc District to become one City under the governance of Ho Chi Minh City and be known as "Thu Duc City". The formation of such a unified administrative unit at such a large scale will certainly bring about vibrant economic development in Ho Chi Minh City, which will also generate the same for the country. At the conference, delegates expressed their views on the establishment of Thu Duc City in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. The unanimously approved name of the new city will be made official once it is formally approved by the National Assembly.

Expansive infrastructure

The highlights of the new Thu Duc City will be its investment in the latest high tech and modern infrastructure. A high level of focus has been directed towards six functional areas, such as building the Thu Thiem urban area as an international technology and financial center; creating a modern Rach Chiec sports and health center; developing a modern high technology center; establishing the National University of Ho Chi Minh City as an educational technology center; creating the Tam Da Eco-Technology Center; and developing the Truong Tho futuristic urban area.

Currently the existing high-tech park that covers 913ha in District 9 has already been filled about 90% in preparation for 156 technology based projects at a total investment cost of about USD 7.1 bn. Ho Chi Minh City is also implementing the construction of a second high-tech park that will cover about 165ha. Hence, once Thu Duc City is established it will attract more investments via this new high-tech park, thereby contributing to higher export value for Ho Chi Minh City.

The establishment of Thu Duc City will also create a breakthrough in transport infrastructure in the eastern part of Ho Chi Minh City. In addition to the existing transport infrastructure, namely, the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien Metro Line, Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway, Hanoi Highway, and the Mai Chi Tho route, the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has asked the Department of Transport, and the Department of Planning and Architecture of Ho Chi Minh City, to organize the planning of transport infrastructure for the eastern areas of the City with a focus on promoting good public transportation by road, rail and waterway.

Accordingly, Ho Chi Minh City will expand the urban railway network in the eastern districts and extend the current Metro Line 1 that will connect with Dong Nai and Binh Duong Provinces. The bus network too will be expanded, and BRT in the Eastern region will be linked to new residential areas and connected to Metro Line 1. The City will develop a network of waterway traffic that will navigate through canals and connect the City to the larger river network. This is expected to increase the proportion of people using public transport over road, rail and waterways in the region from 10% to 25% by 2025, and about 50% to 60% by 2040.

Realizing a dream

The development of Thu Duc City will create many benefits and advantages, bring in much needed infrastructure, and develop vacant land for vitally essential and modern projects. The new city will bear the imprint of a modern and high-tech city that is well able to fulfil the requirements of the 21st century. However, to make this dream come true a lot of preparation is required with many challenges to overcome.  

According to Asso. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Minh Hoa, this is an unprecedented development plan. Therefore, in order to implement it successfully, first of all, it is necessary to adjust the existing laws such as Law on Urban Management, Law on State Administrative Management, and Law on Construction.  When we amend these laws, then only will it be possible to freely work towards making Ho Chi Minh City into a dynamic urban area. Creativity and innovation must go hand in hand with appropriate planning of projects and space.

Dr. Nguyen Minh Hoa emphasized that the current model of a unipolar megacity like Hanoi covering 3,400 sq. km with seven million people, and Ho Chi Minh City covering an area of 2,100 sq. km with thirteen million people, is now out of date in today’s world. Dr. Hoa gave the example of Phu My Hung, which would develop much more dynamically if it is not under the management of Tan Phong and Tan Phu wards. Therefore, in researching for a new development model for Ho Chi Minh City much consideration and indepth planning is required.

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