Is Ho Chi Minh City in Decline?
In the short term: yes
Good afternoon! Hello to new readers, and welcome to the Vietnam Weekly, written by reporter Mike Tatarski. This edition is exclusively for paying subscribers - if you haven’t already, you can upgrade to a paid subscription for US$5/month or US$50/year below. This means you’ll receive all future subscriber-only articles, as well as access to past newsletter editions dating back to mid-2020.
The usual recap of the week, which is available to everyone, will hit your inbox on Friday morning. If you have any feedback or questions - or if you just want to say hello! - simply hit ‘reply’ to this email.
On to the news.
As we approach the midpoint of the year, it is abundantly clear that Vietnam’s economic heart is in serious trouble.
This reality has prompted an unplanned series of articles here at Vietnam Weekly in part because I live in Ho Chi Minh City, but also because the city’s fortunes have an outsized impact on the country.
Back in March, I wrote about how the city administration had distributed 0.5% of its US$3 billion budget for the year through January and February.
In early April, we learned that HCMC’s Q1 gross regional domestic product growth was just 0.7%, far lower than the other four centrally governed cities and provinces and well below the national rate of 3.3%.
By the start of May, the city’s public disbursal rate for 2023 had only reached 4%, one of the worst figures in the country.
Have things improved since then?
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Vietnam Weekly to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.