This is shaping up to be a break-out year for Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam’s business and financial center, and its most populous city — 9 million headed toward 14 million by 2025.
Sales and services revenue is up 12% this year and approaching $5 billion. February exports are up 15% to $1.8 billion. Agricultural production is up 6%. The city hosted nearly 400,000 tourists in February, a 10% increase, and licensed 2,700 new businesses accounting for 25,000 new jobs.
And all of this precedes the conclusion of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations that are expected to boost trade further between HCM City and the US, Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore, among others.
Perhaps the strongest sign of robust economic conditions in HCM City is the rise in foreign direct investment (FDI). The city says it granted 12% more investment licenses so far this year than at this time last year (46) — with an aggregate of $164 million capital, up 267%.
This suggests the year of the horse will be powerful for the former Saigon — and as goes Saigon so goes all of Vietnam.