Prime minister pushes up development of southern key economic zone

15:00 | 06/05/2019
Improving the transportation connections among southern cities is crucial to develop the area, claimed Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the conference to develop the southern key economic zone held on May 6 in Dong Nai province.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has stressed that the southern key economic zone plays an important role in the country’s socioeconomic development, especially in its GDP.

prime minister pushes up development of southern key economic zone
Southern key economic zone plays an important role in socio-economic development of the country, especially in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Photo: Le Toan.

This zone consists of Ho Chi Minh City and seven other provinces, including Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Long An, and Tien Giang.

This zone now accounts for 45 per cent of the nation’s GDP, 42 per cent of the state budget, and more than 40 per cent of the export volume.

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue urged localities to regularly review priority projects to ensure regional socioeconomic development.

prime minister pushes up development of southern key economic zone
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc talked with conference's participants. Photo: Le Toan.

Nguyen Thanh Phong, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee cum chairman of the council of the southern key economic zone, said the government should issue a decree on the development of this area to ensure effectiveness and co-ordination.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung noted that despite the significant contributions to the country’s socio-economic development, the southern key economic zone is still facing many challenges. He raised nine shortcomings related to economic development, the gradual slowdown of economic growth, and the low introduction of hi-tech products.

“The region’s foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction has not been as strong as earlier, and the scale of FDI projects in the region has been smaller as well. The zone also has yet to issue specific guidelines to boost connectivity in the region,” Minister Dung added.

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The pointed out bottlenecks in regional transport, especially the overload at Tan Son Nhat airport, the asynchronous development of the Cai Mep-Thi Vai seaport complex and roads, and the North-South Railway.

Concluding the conference, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc assigned the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Government Office to set up a prime minister’s directive on the development of the southern key economic zone to be a foundation for the implementation in the coming time.

The PM said that to develop the southern key economic zone, all related authorities must understand that development must be unified without gaps. There must be a special policy for the whole area in order to ensure its development in the future.

He also requested authorities of the related provinces to push up the process of Long Thanh International Airport and to start construction in 2020.

In recent years, the southern key economic zone has gained many achievements in socioeconomic development, with average annual GDP growth of 8.34 per cent during 2016-2018, and per capita income reaching $5,474 last year – two times higher than the nation’s average.

By Bich Ngoc

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