Vietnam PM approves southeastern metropolitan area plan

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Ho Chi Minh City will be the core of a major metropolitan area that aims to become a new Southeast Asian hub in finance, trade, tourism and international exchange activities, according to a plan recently approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

The city, with a current population of more than eight million, is expected to achieve a per capita income of US$4,600 in 2015 and US$6,400 in 2020, the government website reported July 27. Vietnam's 2011 per capital income was about $1,300.

The new plan covers HCMC and the southeastern provinces of Ba Ria Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh.

HCMC will have ten satellite towns: Nhon Trach, Long Thanh, Tam Phuoc, Hiep Phuoc, Cu Chi, Trang Bom, An Lac, Nha Be, Can Gio and Di An Thuan An.

Vung Tau will become a town specializing in tourism and petroleum exploitation while Bien Hoa and Thu Dau Mot will focus on industrial development.

By 2020, the metropolitan area will be the home to around 18 million people and generating 300,000 jobs every year.

The government will prioritize infrastructure investment for building more ports in Vung Tau, HCMC and Dong Nai as well as a large storage area in the region.

The area is expected to contribute between 50 and 55 percent of the nation's GDP by 2020.

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