Ho Chi Minh City
Located in the South of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is the second biggest city in the country, following the newly "enlarged" Hanoi. The city covers an area of 2,057 square kilometers and has a population of around 7 million people.
Ho Chi Minh City is the industrial, commercial, financial and service center of Vietnam, and is also the center of southern economic area including Ho Chi Minh City and other surrounding provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Long An, Tay Ninh and Tien Giang. This region spreads out to a total area of 24,754 square kilometers and accounts for a population of more than 10 million people. It is also the most active and attractive market for foreign investors in the country.
Ho Chi Minh City is the most important economic center in Vietnam as it accounts for a big percentage of Vietnam's economy. Ho Chi Minh City contributes 20 percent to the nation's GDP, 30 percent to its industrial output and 40 percent of the country's export revenues. The city also takes first place in terms of the GDP per capita.
Higher education in Ho Chi Minh City is quite developed, concentrating about 76 universities and colleges with a total of over 380,000 students yearly.
Air: Tan Son Nhat International Airport is located six kilometers north of the center (District 1) of Ho Chi Minh City. Because of the rapid growing number of passengers and Tan Son Nhat Airport's proximity to the center of the city, the Vietnamese government is preparing to build a new international airport near Long Thanh Township, Dong Nai Province about 40 kilometers to the northeast. After completion, Long Thanh will become the international airport while Tan Son Nhat will handle only domestic traffic.
Sea: There are many harbors along the Saigon and Dong Nai Rivers including: Saigon Port, Newport, Ben Nghe Port and VICT Port. They account for the 40 percent of Vietnam's annual export-import cargo output.
Rail: Ho Chi Minh City is the terminal hub of the North-South Railroad of Vietnam. Passengers can travel to Hanoi and the Chinese border, about 1,950 kilometers to the north.
Road: Main roads running through and connecting Ho Chi Minh City with some key destinations include:
- National Highways 14 and 20: linking Ho Chi Minh City to the Central Highlands;
- National Highway 1: linking Ho Chi Minh City to the Central Coast and the North;
- National Highways 1 and 50: linking Ho Chi Minh City to the Mekong River Delta.
Two expressways are being built to connect Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho, the capital of the Mekong River Delta, and to Dau Giay Township, Dong Nai Province, 70 kilometers to the northeast. The city also has a network of rivers and canals that used for navigation and irrigation.
There are three export processing zones and 12 industrial parks in Ho Chi Minh City which have attracted 1,156 investment projects, in which there are 472 foreign investment projects with the total capital of over US$2.6 billion. Exports have been valued over US$16 billion with the big major markets are Japan, Europe, the United States, Taiwan and China out of more than 50 countries and territories. At the moment, the industrial parks employ over 250,000 workers.
According to the master plan for industrial development in Ho Chi Minh City, by 2010, the land reserved for export processing zones and industrial parks will be 7,000 hectares with 23 export processing and industrial zones. At present, the development orientation of the Ho Chi Minh City export processing zones and industrial parks focuses on attracting investors who will invest in modern and high-tech fields including mechanical engineering, electronics and chemistry.
Most of the EPZs and IPs in Ho Chi Minh City are close to fully occupied. However, Tan Phu Trung still has space available while Phong Phu and Dong Nam Cu Chi remain uncompleted at this time.