|Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính delivers the closing remarks to a meeting with the leadership of Mekong Delta Province Bến Tre on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang|
BẾN TRE — During a meeting with leaders of the southern province of Bến Tre on Thursday to review performance in 2022 and set 2023 tasks, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính urged the province to capitalise on its coastal and marine economy fully.
PM Chính praised the efforts and results obtained by the provincial Party Committee, administration, army and people, which contributed to the overall achievements of the country.
The province's Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) growth reached 7.33 per cent in 2022, and exports totalled US$1.51 billion, an increase of 19.69 percentage points.
In addition, the province's budget collection surpassed expectations, reaching VNĐ5.635 trillion (equivalent to over US$238 million), which is 106.43 per cent of the target set by central authorities.
The province proposed the Government consider several measures to help drive Bến Tre's sustainable growth in the context of climate change, including further land reclamation, the development of renewable power industries, investment in a coastal road, and upgrading Bến Tre into a centrally-run city, along with several specific infrastructure and irrigation projects.
PM Chính also pointed out several limitations that the province needs to overcome, including its slow growth rate and its modest economic size, as well as its under-invested socio-economic infrastructure (especially road and inland waterway transport), limited quality of human resources, and the high proportion of labourers working in the fields of agriculture-fishing-forestry (43.1 per cent).
The PM noted that the province has not been able to attract large-scale projects to create breakthroughs for development, and people's life remains difficult.
However, with 65km of coastline, and nearly 20,000sq.m of exclusive economic waters, the province has favourable conditions to develop marine economic sectors, logistics, and great potential for wind power development, PM Chính said.
He added that the large area of fertile delta land and mangroves, diverse fisheries resources, and an intensive network of channels and rivers are all great conditions for the further growth of the locality.
He urged the locality to complete soon the provincial master plan, with expansions towards the eastern sea for new spaces for development.
PM Chính emphasised the critical importance of Bến Tre's continued effective implementation of socio-economic recovery and development programs as well as national target programmes.
He urged the leaders to perform financial tasks with excellence, remove obstacles to production and business, and accelerate economic restructuring through innovative growth models based on science and technology, digital transformation, green economy, and circular economy.
All efforts should be made in accordance with cultural traditions and the unique characteristics of the people of Bến Tre, according to the Prime Minister.
The Government leader also told the province to develop road and inland water transport to connect with other provinces in the Mekong Delta, especially Trà Vinh, Vĩnh Long, and Tiền Giang, to optimise resources.
PM emphasised the province must exploit its agriculture production advantages while promoting industrial development and focusing on the deep processing of key products.
“Bến Tre has more than 70,000ha of coconuts, along with a large shrimp farming area, which needs to be cultivated into the province's key products. Coconut trees are both an economic product and a brand that carries the province's spirit and culture, tourism, and environment," PM pointed out.
PM Chính also told the province to build new-style rural areas and connect the urban and rural areas, modernise the irrigation system to serve agricultural needs, effectively use the water resources of the Mekong River, and adapt to climate change, natural disasters, and salt intrusion.
He believed the province has the strength and, with the government's support, Bến Tre will become a moderately developed locality in the Mekong Delta by 2025.
Regarding Bến Tre's land reclamation proposal, PM Chính asked the province to work with relevant ministries and agencies to study the environmental impacts of this process. — VNS