Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc presents the Independence Order, first class, to the Party Organisation, government and people of Binh Duong (Photo: VNA)
Binh Duong (VNA) – The Government expects the southern province of Binh Duong to become a strong driving force of the national economy, which drives the growth of the whole country as well as key economic regions, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a working session with provincial leaders on January 1.

In the future, Binh Duong should become a central-run city and an industrial hub of the country, a smart city and a destination for investment and creative ideas, he stated.

The PM expressed impression at Binh Duong’s speedy socio-economic growth, saying that the province is one of the leading localities in administrative reform and a few having an effective administration centre. He lauded Binh Duong’s policy to promote immigrants’ contributions to the local socio-economic development.

However, he also pointed to a number of shortcomings Binh Duong needs to fix in the coming time. He said the province has yet to fully tap its advantage as the gateway of Ho Chi Minh City to develop high quality services and support industries.

Binh Duong’s provincial competitiveness index remains low at 25th position among 63 localities nationwide and fourth in the Southeastern region, he noted, adding that there are few hi-tech firms and high-quality products in the province, along with high risk of environmental pollution.

He asked Binh Duong to create breakthroughs in the business and investment environment, while improving human resources quality and fostering urban infrastructure links with the whole region.

Expressing his hope that the province will become a startup centre of the region and the country, the Government leader assigned Binh Duong to have 50,000 enterprises by 2020, doubling the current number.

The province should focus on boosting the growth of support industries, encouraging local firms to renovate their technology to protect the environment, he said. The PM also stressed the need for the local government to enhance the efficiency of the administrative system, and submit a project on setting up a smart city to the Government soon.

Re-established on January 1, 1997, Binh Duong is located in the southern key economic region. With its drastic reform policies, the province has risen to a leading industrial locality of the country and one of 13 localities nationwide having the highest budget collection.

In 2016, the province’s total gross regional domestic products grew 8.5 percent, while its per capita income reached 108.6 million VND (USD). Currently, industry makes up 63 percent of the locality’s economic structure, while that of service is 23.5 percent and agriculture only 4.3 percent.

Over the past five years, the industrial production index of Binh Duong increased 11 percent annually. Its budget collection in 2016 exceeded the set target by 3 percent to hit 40 trillion VND, a year on year rise of 9 percent.

Thanks to its improved investment environment, Binh Duong has attracted 25.7 billion USD in foreign investment, with 2.4 billion USD in 2016 alone. So far, the province has built 28 industrial parks and 10 industrial clusters.

Also on January 1, PM Phuc attended a ceremony to mark 20 years of Binh Duong’s development, during which he presented the Independence Order, first class, to the Party Organisation, government and people of Binh Duong in recognition of their achievements in national construction and development.-VNA