PM asks northern region to optimise advantages for stronger development

Tuesday, 2019-06-25 22:15:58
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PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the conference. (Photo: VGP)
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NDO/VNA – The northern key economic region has advantages over other regions in the country to develop, especially in terms of infrastructure and human resources, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at a conference held in the northern province of Hung Yen on June 25.

The Government leader highlighted the region’s strategic importance in terms of politics, society-economy, and defence-security, adding that it is the second biggest economic region nationwide and the only region where all localities contribute to the central budget.

He asked regional localities to reform policies in investment, finance, land, human resources, as well as pay attention to institutional reform and improve regional coordination mechanism.

The PM pointed to shortcomings in the region such as unsustainable growth of the service sector, which is the region’s strong point but its proportion in the economic structure is declining; small-scale agricultural production with out-of-date cultivation techniques and processing technology; weak connection in production and business; and environmental pollution in urban and rural areas, river basins, trade villages, and industrial clusters.

The region should maintain its role as the country’s centre of politics, economy, culture and science-technology, and strive to become one of the nation’s two biggest economic hubs besides the southern key economic region, he said.

The region must take the lead in science-technology and innovation as well as economic restructuring, the PM requested.

He also urged the region to push ahead with building rural areas and reforming administrative procedures, improving business environment, preventing corruption and wastefulness, and ensuring social safety for people.

Regional linkage was a focal point at the conference, with leaders of localities proposing several measures to promote regional connectivity.

The northern key economic region, comprising Hanoi, Hai Phong, Bac Ninh, Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, Hung Yen and Vinh Phuc, covers nearly 16,000 square kilometers, making up 4.7% of the country’s total area. It has a population of over 16 million, accounting for 17% of the nation’s total population.

According to Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung, the region’s average gross regional development product (GRDP) growth exceeded 9% in 2016-2018.

Last year, its total GRDP made up about 31.73% of the country’s GRDP, ranking second after the southern key economic region. The region contributed over 31% of the State budget’s revenues and over 30% of national exports.

The total development investment in the region reached nearly VND1.6 quadrillion (US$70 billion), making up 29.76% of the country’s total investment.