Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Ngoc Anh told The Hanoi Times of the city’s strong solidarity and determination in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, which would serve as the foundation for Hanoi to maintain growth momentum in 2022.
|Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Chu Ngoc Anh.|
Hanoi suffered severe Covid-19 impacts last year but still managed to ensure positive socio-economic performance. What is your view in this regard?
The year 2021 was a key milestone for Vietnam with several important events taking place, including the 13th National Party Congress and the general election for deputies of the 15th National Assembly and all-level People’s Councils in the 2021-2026 period.
On the other hand, the Covid-19 pandemic with the emergence of the Delta variant posed a serious threat to the world, and Vietnam is no exception.
Since last April, many localities, including Hanoi, were under the fourth Covid-19 outbreak that put the country into unprecedented difficulties. The drastic efforts from the Government, strong response from the public and business community, however, helped Vietnam fight off the pandemic and protect the capital city.
Hanoi in this context has swiftly changed its Covid-19 strategy to safe and flexible adaptation to the pandemic. From the very beginning, the city considers the Covid-19 fight as the utmost priority, in which the people are the center of every effort and also the most important factor to put off the pandemic.
The authorities, for our part, have set up various scenarios to stay ahead of the situation, maintain public access to health services under any circumstance, and timely contain pandemic outbreaks.
Hanoi has also carried out a large-scale vaccination program with high efficiency, in which 99% of the people from 18 years and above were vaccinated by at least one dose as of January 12, 2022.
The 1st dose coverage for those aged 15-17 also reached 99%, and the rate of double-dosed people hit 93.4%; 98.7% of children aged 12-14 received the first shot and 72.69% were injected the second dose.
For people aged 50 and above with underlying health problems, Hanoi would carry out vaccine administration at home and then push for vaccination for the remaining groups.
Hanoi is committed to strictly complying with the Government’s Resolution No.128 on safe living with the pandemic and aims to leave no one behind in advancing socio-economic recovery.
To date, Hanoi has provided financial support for 5.3 million people worth VND6.5 trillion ($287 million). Despite the severe pandemic consequences, Hanoi is determined to pursue the twin goal of both containing the pandemic and boosting economic growth.
So far, Hanoi has set up task forces specializing in accelerating public investment and addressing the concerns of the business community. Last year, Hanoi waived and extended the payment of fees and taxes worth VND25.66 trillion ($1.13 billion) for 212,840 people and businesses affected by the pandemic.
Hanoi by the end of 2021 contributed a significant part to the country’s socio-economic development by posting a GRDP growth of 6.69% in the fourth quarter, and state budget revenue of VND264.4 trillion ($11.6 billion), exceeding the year’s estimate by 12.3% and equivalent to 17.1% of the nation.
With 2022 seen as a difficult year as the pandemic persists, what is the city’s plan to continue boosting socio-economic growth?
This year is a turning point for Hanoi to realize its five-year development plan of 2021-2025. Hanoi has set up 22 main targets for development in 2022, including a GRDP growth of 7-7.5%.
With that being said, the city is committed to soon issuing an action plan to realize the Government’s socio-economic development objectives for 2022.
Meanwhile, Hanoi continues to adapt to the pandemic situation by raising public awareness on Covid-19 and providing sufficient vaccines and drugs for treatment. The city would also focus on addressing concerns of the businesses and accelerating public investment; substantially restructuring the economy.
We identify the necessity to invest in culture, education, and healthcare. Right in the first quarter of 2022, Hanoi would propose a plan to renovate and preserve historical and cultural sites in the city; improve the educational infrastructure, and expand healthcare capabilities.
The local authorities take the improvement of the business/investment environment and the administrative reform very seriously, for the convenience of people and businesses as they are the main interests of the state.
Last but not least it is to ensure social welfare and a stable labor market, eventually improving the people’s income and living standards.
What is your message to the people ahead of a new lunar year?
The Hanoi authorities greatly appreciated the strong support and solidarity of the people in the fight against the pandemic. Hanoi would focus on caring for social beneficiaries, vulnerable groups, and poor households so that they would have a happy Tet festival. So far, the city has allocated over VND395 billion for 915,000 people in that spirit, so that the people can fully enjoy Tet.
In addition, Hanoi also tries to support those participating in the Covid-19 response efforts, ranging from healthcare staff, security forces, public servants, with the financial support of up to VND80 billion.
On the occasion of the new lunar year, I would like to send my best wishes to the people for their understanding and sharing in the Covid-19 fight and development of Hanoi.
We are confident to overcome any obstacles and realize all socio-economic development goals for 2022.
Thank you for your time!