City still growth engine of nation: PM HCMC – Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has told HCMC to continue taking the lead in economic growth to help the country mitigate the economic slowdown and thus ensure social welfare. The city should focus on applying advanced technologies to production and urban management and traffic safety, Dung was cited by the Vietnam News Agency as saying at the review meeting on the city’s 2008 socio-economic performance and plan for 2009. The city’s GDP has grown 11%, 1.7 times higher than the country’s growth rate. Its exports have leapt 21.8% and its consumer price index (CPI) is 18.08%. He allowed the city to issue bonds worth US$1 billion to invest in the construction of half-done projects or those viable. HCMC Party Committee secretary Le Thanh Hai said that next year the city would try to attain 10% GDP growth, export growth of 16.5% and a CPI lower than 15%.