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Thu Duc last on HCMC competitiveness ranking

Thu Duc, Vietnam’s first city within a city, was ranked last on Ho Chi Minh City’s first-ever competitiveness index evaluating its districts and municipal government departments.

The 2022 Department and District Competitiveness Index (DDCI HCMC) released Thursday showed Thu Duc City scored under 50 on a scale of 100.

The DDCI HCMC evaluated 22 districts (including Thu Duc City) and 17 departments based on nine components: Transparency and access to information accounted for 10% of the ranking, information-technology (IT) application and digital transformation for 10%, unofficial costs (bribes) 10%, time expenditure (time spent on administrative procedures) 15%, fair competition 10%, support for business 10%, legal institutions 5%, the dynamism, creativity and effectiveness of departments, divisions and sectors 15%, and the role of leadership 15%.

Land access and land use stability were also taken into consideration when assessing the localities.

Thu Duc arrived last in IT application and digital transformation, fair competition, legal institutions and security and order, as well as dynamism, creativity and efficiency of local government.

The city also had some of the lowest scores for transparency and access to information, land access and stability, unofficial costs, support for businesses, time expenditure, and role of leadership.

Around 15,000 companies, cooperatives, and business households were invited to participate in the survey from last December until the end of January this year.

Thu Duc City was established in early 2020 by merging districts 2, 9 and Thu Duc, making it the first "city within a city" model in the country.
Thu Duc City was established in early 2020 by merging districts 2, 9 and Thu Duc, making it the first “city within a city” model in the country.

Measuring 211 square kilometers and with a population of more than one million, Thu Duc was expected to account for 30% of the city’s economy and 7% of the nation’s.

Planned to be an “innovative urban area,” the city encompasses a hi-tech park in District 9, a university neighborhood in Thu Duc District, and a new urban area and financial center on Thu Thiem Peninsula in District 2.

However, more than two years after it was formed, Thu Duc has been unable to fulfill its potential.

Experts say part of the problem is that as a municipality is still unable to make decisions on its own and must go through Ho Chi Minh City authorities instead. The city essentially has only the same authority as a district.

It was not until last December that Ho Chi Minh City decided to give more power to Thu Duc, allowing the “city within a city” to approve plans for land acquisition, compensation payment and resettlement of displaced people for construction projects.

Phu Nhuan District led the overall index with a score of 78.56, followed by District 11 with 76.87.

Phu Nhuan took the lead in transparency and information access and time cost, and is in the top ten districts in categories of IT application and digital transformation, land access and stability, unofficial costs, and legal institutions.

Regarding departments, the Department of Science and Technology ranked number one on the index while the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs is at the bottom.

Speaking at a meeting to announce the index results, Ho Chi Minh City chairman Phan Van Mai said the DDCI showed the city’s efforts and determination in administrative reform and improving competitiveness to welcome more investors.

He said the three departments of Health, Tourism, and Education and Training had failed to provide sufficient information for the evaluation, and had been seriously condemned.

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