|Cau Rao 2 Bridge, crossing Lach Tray River in Hai Phong, opened last year and is considered the most modern bridge in the city. The port city ranked third in attracting foreign direct investment, with total registered capital of US$2.6 billion. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Quyet
HAI PHONG (VNS)— Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged the northern city of Hai Phong to boost its use of science and technology to increase the value and competitiveness of agricultural products.
In a meeting yesterday with local leaders, Dung praised the city's efforts to overcome difficulties in its developments over the past three years.
Chairman of the city's People's Committee Duong Anh Dien said the city had achieved significant results in construction and socio-economic development. Notably, its GDP growth rate was estimated to reach 7.5 per cent, 1.4 times as much as the country's average level, he said.
The city also ranked third in attracting foreign direct invested capital, with a total registered amount of US$2.6 billion - the largest figure so far, Dien said.
It also drew 5 million tourists to the city since the beginning of the year, an increase of 11.2 per cent over last year's number, he added.
However, the city still failed to meet six targets set for this year, Dien noted.
Next year, the city will strive for a GDP growth rate of 8-9 per cent on this year's figure, chairman Dien stressed.
Responding to the committee's report, Dung asked the city to review its shortcomings so that it could work out measures to address problems and meet the targets of the five-year plan for 2011-15 during the next two years.
He suggested the locality further make use of the advantages of a port city with a relatively completed infrastructure.
He also asked the city to promptly issue priority policies to encourage the development of modern services and human resources especially for well-trained personnel.
The locality should have policies to attract the participation of enterprises in the rural area to create jobs, thereby helping transform the rural economic structure, he added.
Phu Yen growth
The same day, while working with top provincial officials in Phu Yen province, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said the province needed to build on its farming based economy in the north central region.
The NA Chairman emphasised the need to prioritise infrastructure, institutional reform and human resources development, requesting local officials to develop flexible plans to capitalise on the province's strategic advantages in maritime activities and forestry.
He also used the opportunity to bring attention to poverty reduction and the develop of industry as key strategies to improve the standard of living.
Reviewing past achievements, the top legislator praised the province for its economic growth, describing the performance as encouraging given the present economic downturn.
During the past three years, the local economy has grown on average by 11.78 per cent per annum, generating a gross domestic product of VND27.3 million (US$1,300) per capita, up 72.8 percent from 2010.
Revenue to the State budget has risen by 18 per cent each year while the annual rate of poor households has fallen by over two per cent, settling at 13.3 per cent this year.
Phu Yen has poured over VND18.7 trillion (US$890 million) into agriculture and rural areas, with 21 out of 29 communes meeting 10 out of the 16 national criteria for new-style rural areas.
Local officials requested more funding from the State to invest in sea transport and the Ba River monitoring system, and support for fishermen in offshore fishing.
Meeting with local lecturers and students from Phu Yen University, who voted for National Assembly deputies the same day, Chairman Hung required Phu Yen to focus on formal education, including vocational training for rural workers.
He urged for a boost in education quality by advocating funding increases for education.
Constituents voiced opinions to add social skills courses to universities, while urging a review of workforce demands to improve employment prospects for young people — VNS