The government of Vietnam agreed in principle to a Ho Chi Minh City proposal to merge its three eastern districts of Thu Duc, 2, and 9 into one administrative unit, temporarily called Thu Duc city.

To build this “city within a city”, an unprecedented move in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City was assigned by the government to take cautious step-by-step preparations for the merger.

A public vote was held October 3 and its results will be handed to the committee on October 7 to define how local people think and what they suggest about the plan.

If more than 50 per cent of the local residents say yes to the proposals, local district People’s Councils will present the result to the City Committee for further process.

According to Huynh Thanh Nhan, director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Home Affairs, the new Thu Duc city will be located across more than 210 and home more than one million of population. “Being the first city of its type in Vietnam, the administrative level of Thu Duc city will also be different from others,” said Nhan.

“The new city will not have district-level leadership, but instead move down directly to commune level,” Nhan added.

The plan to combine districts 2, 9 and Thu Duc into one administrative unit and make it an “innovative urban area” was submitted in May by Ho Chi Minh City Home Affairs Department to the city’s People’s Committee.

It would encompass the hi-tech park in District 9, the university precinct in Thu Duc district, and the new urban area and financial centre on the Thu Thiem Peninsula in District 2, propelling the city’s plan to turn itself into a smart city.

At a May meeting with the city, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had endorsed the project in principle and assigned the Ministry of Justice to guide the city in the next steps to take.

The new combined area is expected to contribute 30 per cent of Ho Chi Minh City’s economic growth, and 7 per cent of Vietnam’s economic growth.

More businesses are seeking available potentials in this region.