Speaking at a recent city People's Council meeting, Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of the city People's Committee, said that two transport projects worth more than VND12 trillion (US$521.8 million) have been approved.
A view of HCMC. The city will focus on major transport projects, among other initiatives, to become a smart city by 2025. VNA/VNS Photo
These include An Phu Intersection in Thu Duc new city and the renovation of Tham Luong, Ben Cat and Nuoc Len canals, to be implemented from now to 2025, according to Phong.
It will cost VND3.926 trillion to build An Phu intersection, including VND1.8 trillion from the central State budget and VND2.126 trillion from the city budget.
The three-level intersection will have overpasses and a tunnel. It will start from the approach road to the HCM City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay expressway and end at the Luong Dinh Cua Street, which often sees serious congestion.
In addition, the upgrade of the Tham Luong, Ben Cat and Nuoc Len canals will need VND8.2 trillion, including VND4 trillion from the State budget and VND4.2 trillion from the city budget.
The 32km-long project goes through District 12, Binh Tan, Tan Phu, Tan Binh, Go Vap, Binh Thanh and Binh Chanh districts.
It is expected to help reduce flooding in the central business district and the northwestern part of the city. It will also improve waterway connections between the city and southern provinces.
'Smart city' status by 2025
Phong said the city would focus on "research and development of AI applications in HCMC" in order to become a smart city by 2025.
Under the programme to become a smart city by 2025, a database of all sectors, ranging from housing, transport and environment to healthcare, will share data with all of the city's administrative departments.
This will help social organisations, businesses and residents have better access to public information and services online through mobile devices and other means, according to Phong.
The city will also focus on developing AI technologies and improving human resources by using AI in education and training, and enhancing academic communications with foreign AI professionals.
In addition, an innovative urban area in the eastern part of the city will continue to be built. The city has already approved the establishment of Thu Duc new city by merging the three eastern districts of 2, 9, and Thu Duc.
The new city will cover more than 211sq.km and be home to more than 1.1 million people. It is expected to promote economic growth in the city and the southern region.
It will serve as a center for three main functions: scientific and technological research and application; education and training of high-quality human resources; and production and trade of hi-tech products and services.
It is expected to contribute a third of the city's GDP, accounting for 7 percent of national GDP.
The city has been working on the eastern innovative urban area project, including the Thu Thiem New Urban Area in District 2, the Northwest urban area, and the Can Gio sea tourist urban area, according to Phong.
Phong pointed out that the city needs more capital for public investment in infrastructure.
He said, for example, from 2016-2021, the city needed VND302.8 trillion to implement nearly 1,950 public transport projects, but the city only managed to allocate about half of that amount.
The city has asked the central government for permission to raise the budget-revenue retention ratio to 24 percent in the 2021-2025 period, and 33 percent in the 2026-2030 period. The latter ratio was granted to the city back in 2003. The ratio refers to revenue that the city gives to the central government.
"The new ratio will ensure that the city will achieve sustainable development," according to Phong.
With a population of 13 million, HCMC, as the nation's economic locomotive, contributes 24 percent of the country's GDP and 27 percent of the national budget.
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