Despites difficulties and challenges the HCM City economy grew by 8.3 per cent this year to more than VNĐ1.33 trillion (over US$59.6 billion).

Dr Trần Hoàng Ngân, director of the HCM City Cadre Academy, said the growth rate is 1.24 times the country’s rate and has been achieved despite the impacts of global events such as the China-US trade war.

But this year there have been certain financial problems.

The city is no longer allowed to use public lands in lieu of money for BT (build – transfer) public works.

As a result, payments for some major works such as the Bến Thành – Suối Tiên and Bến Thành – Tham Lương metro lines have been affected.

The city also had to deal with complaints by groups of residents who gathered to protest against issues relating to the Thủ Thiêm Urban Area in District 2, the Hi-tech Park in District 9 and the Safari Park in Củ Chi.

Despite a fall in revenues from land use rights and import-export tariffs, the city managed to achieve 98.1 per cent of the revenue target.

This was due to authorities’ efforts to promote dialogues with scientists and entrepreneurs, which enabled them to make appropriate and timely decisions.

For instance, the Chairman of the city People’s Committee, Nguyễn Thành Phong, held the first ever dialogue with the mechanical engineering and automation industries.

Phong attributed the city’s achievements this year to the efforts of the public, the measures taken by entrepreneurs to cope with difficulties and challenges and “creative” leadership at all levels of the administration.

These achievements would enable the city to achieve its targets for next year, he added.