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Cablegate: Acting Consul General's Meeting with New Hcmc People's Committee Vice-Chairwoman

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


2001HOCHI01042 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ1128

PAGE 01 HO CHI 01042 01 OF 02 060053Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00 CTME-00
DINT-00 DOEE-00 ITCE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00
ED-01 EXME-00 E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00
FRB-00 HHS-01 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 ITC-01 LAB-01
L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00
PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00
TEST-00 USIE-00 EPAE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02
G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /012W
------------------1B40D8 060054Z /38
FM AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5496
INFO AMEMBASSY HANOI PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMCONSUL HONG KONG
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
JICPAC HONOLULU HI
SECDEF WASHDC
DIA WASHDC
NSC WASHDC
DEPTTREAS WASHDC
USDOC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HO CHI MINH CITY 001042

SIPDIS

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HO CHI 01042 01 OF 02 060053Z
DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/BCLTV AND EAP/PD/MSPEER
DEPARTMENT ALSO FOR OPIC, TDA, AND EXIMBANK
DEPARTMENT ALSO FOR INR/EAP/SEA AND INR/IL/B
CINCPAC FOR FPA
SECDEF FOR ISA/EA/LSTERN
DEPTTREAS FOR OASIA
USDOC FOR 4431/MAC/AP/OKSA/HPPHO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV ECON PINR SOCI VM
SUBJECT: ACTING CONSUL GENERAL'S MEETING WITH NEW HCMC PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE VICE-CHAIRWOMAN

1. SUMMARY: DEPUTY PRINCIPAL OFFICER AND ACTING CONSUL
GENERAL SHARON WHITE MET AUGUST 27 WITH HCMC PEOPLE'S
COMMITTEE VICE-CHAIRWOMAN HUYNH THI NHAN. MS. NHAN IS
ONE OF THREE NEW VICE-CHAIRPERSONS APPOINTED TO THE
HCMC PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE IN MAY. (THERE ARE A TOTAL OF
FIVE HCMC PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE VICE-CHAIRPERSONS.) IN
HER FIRST OFFICIAL ENCOUNTER WITH THE CONSULATE
GENERAL, MS. NHAN APPEARED KNOWLEDGEABLE AND AT EASE
WITH THE VARIETY OF ISSUES HCMC (THE CITY) FACES IN ITS
CURRENT STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT. END SUMMARY.

URBAN DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES
----------------------------

2. ACG WHITE NOTED THAT MANY PEOPLE VIEW HCMC AS A
MODEL OF DEVELOPMENT FOR THE REST OF VIETNAM. ACG ALSO
INQUIRED ABOUT THE SRV CENTRAL GOVERNMENT GRANTING HCMC
LATITUDE TO EXPERIMENT WITH DIFFERENT MECHANISMS IN
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HO CHI 01042 01 OF 02 060053Z
ADDRESSING DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS. MS. NHAN SAID THAT
HANOI AND HCMC ARE REFERRED TO AS CITIES WITH A SPECIAL
ADMINISTRATIVE STATUS, BUT IN FACT, THEY OPERATE AS
PROVINCES. THE SRV CENTRAL GOVERNMENT, IN FACT, HAS
RECENTLY GRANTED HCMC MORE DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY IN
MATTERS DEALING WITH ITS OWN ECONOMY. THE HCMC
PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE IS CURRENTLY WORKING ON A DRAFT
DECREE THAT WOULD GIVE THE CITY MORE INDEPENDENCE IN
PREPARING ITS OWN BUDGET.

3. MS. NHAN SAID THE CITY'S GREATEST CHALLENGE IS TO
IMPROVE ITS INFRASTRUCTURE TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF
ITS BURGEONING POPULATION. AS A MANUFACTURING AND
COMMERCIAL CENTER, THE CITY DRAWS ECONOMIC MIGRANTS
FROM THE RURAL COUNTRYSIDE. NEWCOMERS TO THE CITY
NOTICE TRAFFIC CONGESTION AS ONE OBVIOUS RESULT OF
OVERCROWDING. THE LARGE INFLUX OF MIGRANTS, HOWEVER,
ALSO CREATES A DEMAND FOR EMPLOYMENT, HOUSING, POWER,
WATER SUPPLY, EDUCATION, AND HEALTHCARE THAT THE CITY
IS STRUGGLING TO MEET.

4. MS. NHAN POINTED OUT THAT HCMC'S SUCCESSFUL CANAL
CLEAN-UP PROJECT ADDRESSED BOTH ENVIRONMENTAL AND
HOUSING PROBLEMS. OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS, HCMC HAS
DREDGED, CLEANED, AND BEAUTIFIED THE THI NGHE-NHIEU LOC
CANAL AND RELOCATED 6,000 HOUSEHOLDS FROM "SHABBY
HOUSES AND SLUMS" BUILT OUT OVER THE CANAL TO MORE
SUITABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT SITES. OVER THE NEXT 5 TO
10 YEARS, THE CITY PLANS TO CLEAN UP ITS OTHER CANALS
AND RELOCATE 10,000 MORE HOUSEHOLDS FROM CANAL SLUMS TO
BETTER HOUSING.
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HO CHI 01042 01 OF 02 060053Z

5. ACG WHITE NOTED THE VISITS TO HCMC IN THE PREVIOUS
THREE WEEKS OF AMERICAN DELEGATIONS INTERESTED IN MASS
TRANSIT, AGRICULTURE, AND AIR QUALITY. SHE SUGGESTED
THAT THE CONSULATE GENERAL COULD HELP ARRANGE FOR
EXPERTS OR STUDY GROUPS ON ONE OR MORE TOPICS RELATED
TO URBAN PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT. SHE ALSO NOTED THAT
THE USG WAS PREPARED TO HELP WITH TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
IN IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BILATERAL TRADE AGREEMENT.

6. MS. NHAN WELCOMED US DELEGATIONS THAT COULD BRING
TECHNICAL EXPERTISE ON ADDRESSING URBAN DEVELOPMENT
ISSUES. SHE SAID THE CITY ALSO WELCOMED TRADE MISSIONS
AND BUSINESS DELEGATIONS. ACG ADDED THAT THE
INCREASING NUMBER OF VISITING US DELEGATIONS, WHETHER
GOVERNMENT OR PRIVATE, WOULD CONSTITUTE A POOL OF US
INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS WHO SUPPORT HCMC'S, AND
VIETNAM'S, EFFORTS TO DEVELOP.

BIO-INFORMATION
---------------

7. MS. HUYNH THI NHAN (VIETNAMESE NAME ORDER: LAST
NAME, MIDDLE NAME, FIRST NAME) WAS BORN IN 1951 IN
SAIGON. SHE HAS A BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN LAW AND A
MASTER'S DEGREE IN ECONOMICS. IN MAY 2001, SHE WAS
APPOINTED HCMC PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE VICE-CHAIRWOMAN IN
CHARGE OF BUDGET AND FINANCE. PREVIOUSLY, SHE WAS
DIRECTOR OF THE HCMC DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND PRICING.
PRIOR TO THAT, SHE WAS CHAIRWOMAN OF THE HOC MON
DISTRICT (HCMC) PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE.

TANNENBAUM

UNCLASSIFIED

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