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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        5  March 2011

Improving HCM City requires funding

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Around 8.1 percent of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) needs to be spent annually to develop HCM City into a world-class transit-oriented metropolis, a German study has found.

Commenting about the study at yesterday's final workshop of the HCM City 21 Initiative project, Conrad Cappell, German consul general in the City, said: "If the proposed investment is done, HCM City could match New York and Paris by 2050. It is not a dream but a real option." The two-year study was conducted by Vietnamese and German city planners, architects, and engineers, economists from the German International Co-operation Agency, industrial giant Siemens AG, the local Institute of Development Studies, and Hong Kong – based Infratrans Consultancy Limited.

Their brief was to provide strategic advice on development priorities for the City and required performance levels in a broad range of criteria defining the quality of urban life.

HCM City was benchmarked against other global cities to provide a background for an analysis of its strengths and weakness today and opportunities and threats tomorrow.

The initiative identified priority action needs and prepared an immediate action plan. It looked into the budget needs for developing the City into a top performing metropolis by 2050 and recommended most suitable budget allocations for the main areas of infrastructure.

It pointed out that the 8.1 per cent of GDP spent annually would also bring benefits for the southern region and entire nation.

Around 44 per cent of the amount would be spent on developing nationwide transport infrastructure.

This would enable HCM City to fulfill its role as the country's largest logistics hub and cut the very high cost of logistics obtaining now.

The project is part of a programme to establish partnerships by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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