|Politburo member and Secretary of the Hà Nội Party Committee Vương Đình Huệ. — VNA/VNS Photo|
Politburo member and Secretary of the Hà Nội Party Committee Vương Đình Huệ spoke to Tin Tức (News) online newspaper about the future development of the capital city on the cusp of the 13th National Party Congress and Tet (Lunar New Year)
2020 was the last year of the term of the 16th Party Congress of Hà Nội, the 12th National Party Congress and also the first year you were the city's Party Secretary. Could you tell us about what the city achieved last year?
2020 was a difficult and challenging year for Hà Nội but the city and the whole country overcame and achieved many positive results.
Foreign media viewed 2020 as a truly special year for Việt Nam as the country was a bright spot in Asia during COVID-19 pandemic and was among the countries with the highest economic growth in the world.
I think this result came from the timely direction of the Government, local authorities and especially the consensus and high response of the people in the implementation of the "dual mission" of containing COVID-19 and sustaining economic growth.
For Hà Nội, that responsibility is even heavier. As an international gateway, a transit place for the whole country, the risk of COVID-19 transmission is very high. Hà Nội's safety from the pandemic is very important to other localities across the country.
By the end of 2020, nearly 44,800 people had been quarantined with 198 cases of COVID-19 and no deaths.
Hà Nội has now gone many consecutive days without any community transmission of the virus.
The results of the COVID-19 pandemic control also contributed to helping the city successfully hold the 17th Congress of the City Party Committee and set tasks and solutions for implementing socio-economic development plans in the coming years.
In socio-economic development, although being negatively affected by COVID-19, Hà Nội's growth in 2020 increased by 3.98 per cent, about 1.4 times higher than the national average. Industry and construction maintained good growth, reaching 6.39 per cent and services increased by 3.29 per cent, of which retail sales of goods increased by more than 10 per cent compared to 2019.
Inflation was controlled at 2.67 per cent, lower than the national average and the lowest figure in many recent years. The city also completed a plan to create new jobs for nearly 160,000 workers, with the unemployment rate lower than the national average at only 2.3 per cent.
The total State budget revenue in the city was at VNĐ285 trillion, exceeding the city’s plan by 2 per cent, up nearly 6 per cent compared to 2019.
In particular, domestic revenue was stable in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, accounting for 93 per cent of State budget revenue.
The city mobilised VNĐ416 trillion of investment capital from the whole economy, up nearly 10 per cent compared to 2019. It also spent more than VNĐ729 billion on disaster recovery and support for people's lives in the pandemic.
Social order and safety were maintained, seeing the reduction of crimes by 15.6 per cent compared to 2019. The number of traffic accidents also reduced remarkably.
Agriculture grew by 4.2 per cent, the highest level in the past nine years, earning VNĐ46 trillion, VNĐ2 trillion higher than in 2019.
By the end of 2020, Hà Nội had 1,000 'One Commune, One Product' (OCOP) products, accounting for 41 per cent of OCOP products nationwide.
Up to 96.1 per cent of communes in Hà Nội have met the standards of new-style rural areas.
Along with that, many large projects in the city were completed, solving many traffic congestion points.
Mistakes in construction, waste treatment and environmental pollution were also basically resolved.
Documents from the 17th City Party Congress stated that the city will strive to compete with cities in the region and the world. What are the city's priorities to do this?
We set general targets for the capital in each period. By 2025, Hà Nội will be a smart, modern, highly competitive city in the country and the region. By 2030, it will become a 'green - smart - modern' city with regional and international competitiveness and complete industrialisation. Hà Nội will have a high quality of life; comprehensive and sustainable economic, cultural and social development; and be a globally connected city with international competitiveness by 2045.
In the near future, the city Party Committee will issue a resolution on the development of the cultural industry.
Cultural and human development is an important resource for the sustainable development of the city.
The city will focus on quickly and synchronously developing the economic and social infrastructure system, building a number of typical works, architectural and landscape spaces with characteristics of the capital. Traffic infrastructure will be developed synchronously, connecting with suburbs, provinces and cities. Digital infrastructure and information technology will also be developed synchronously, creating a foundation for the development of the digital economy and digital society.
In 2021, the Standing Committee of the City Party Committee will submit to the Politburo and the Government for consideration and adjustment of the development planning of Hà Nội to 2030, with a vision to 2050, to create a development framework for the city, in accordance with the new Planning Law and review 10 years of implementation of the Capital Law to submit to the National Assembly for studying, amending and supplementing as well as adopting a new resolution for development strategy in the coming years.
What should we do to promote cultural values and arouse the local people's will, pride and development aspirations?
First of all, we need the exemplary character of each official and Party member, especially the head of Party, authorities at all levels in performing tasks as well as in daily life to encourage people to follow them. Cadres and civil servants need to train themselves in both ethics and qualifications to meet the practical needs of the city and the people, making an important contribution to strengthening the confidence of the people with the Party and the Government.
The city's Party committees, authorities and agencies need to encourage local cadres, Party members, civil servants and people’s pride in the historical and cultural traditions of the city for everyone to see clearly their responsibility for Hà Nội, aiming to make Hà Nội peaceful, joyful and prosperous.
With the pandemic still a complex problem, what will Hà Nội do to overcome challenges and reach its goals?
In addition to the achieved results, the city Party Committee is expected to issue a separate resolution on tourism development in the new context. The city will adjust strategies for the tourism industry and restructure this industry to include the environment, infrastructure, businesses and tourism products for sustainable revenue.
The city will issue a resolution on cultural industry development because Hà Nội is honoured as a city of innovative design. The human and cultural factor should be considered an important driving force to achieve the goal of rapid and sustainable growth. In that direction, the city should focus on hosting regional and world-class cultural events with Hà Nội's unique characteristics.
In 2021, the capital city is honoured to host the SEA Games and PARA Games. In addition, Hà Nội will also have its own project on urban economic development. It is hoping to become ASEAN's leading centre for digital transformation, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and a leading commerce centre.
With the spirit, determination and belief of a new term, I believe that the Party Committee, the government and local people will continue to unite to overcome difficulties and challenges, making efforts to reach the set targets. VNS