Breaking Barriers: Ho Chi Minh City Opens Doors to Foreign Investors

The proposals made aimed to improve the investment climate, advance high-value manufacturing and the supply chain, invest in digital modernization and transportation infrastructure, simplify visa policies, and reform capital markets.

James Ollen, the executive director of AmCham Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City, suggested that public management should utilize digital modernization to create a fair and transparent legal environment and a reliable approval process to improve the investment climate. He recommended that the city provide favorable conditions for AmCham members to expand their investments and facilities. To enable businesses to participate in the global supply chain, the Vietnamese government and Ho Chi Minh City should implement tax policies compatible with global standards, apply international accounting and auditing standards, use agreed processes to determine taxable prices, and abide by regulations approved by the National Assembly.

Foreign investors called for measures to enhance air quality, control noise pollution, and invest in public transport and pedestrian lanes to improve people’s well-being. AmCham suggested reforms in education, policies promoting the localization of supply chains, and investments in transportation infrastructure and logistics to boost high-value production and supply chains.

They also recommended developing action plans to meet energy security and clean energy transition goals, encouraging high-tech research and development investments, and accelerating investment in transportation infrastructure. To improve economic zone connectivity, a smooth transportation system should extend from Binh Duong and Dong Nai in the north to Ba Ria-Vung Tau in the south, with links to industrial parks, Long Thanh Airport, Cat Port, and Cai Mep logistics center.

Alain Cany, who serves as the head of EuroCham in Vietnam, pointed out that foreign specialists encounter obstacles during the process of obtaining work permits in Ho Chi Minh City. Nguyen Van Lam, who holds the position of vice director at the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs, shared that his department has collated recommendations regarding work permit procedures and submitted them to higher officials. According to him, they are now intending to streamline and modify those regulations.

Phan Van Mai, the Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, emphasized that business recommendations would be the basis for proposing revisions to enhance current procedures. The city aims to listen to and solve businesses’ problems, with interdisciplinary resolution within a month if necessary. Mai added that the city’s goal is to become a smart, modern, and industrial hub with a per-capita GRDP of $8,500 by 2025.

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