Overview of the conference (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The northern key economic region’s socio-economic development is of great significance to the socio-economic development of the Red River Delta and the country as a whole, heard a conference on December 27.

As political, economic, cultural, scientific and technological hub of the entire country, the northern key economic region comprises seven cities and provinces, namely Hanoi, Hung Yen, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, Bac Ninh and Vinh Phuc. It boasts a range of advantages in terms of geographical location and infrastructure systems, enabling it to support other regions’ development.

The region is also leading the country in terms of international cooperation, foreign investment attraction as well as close combination of socio-economic development with strengthening defence, security and social order.

In the 2011-2016 period, the regional localities have reaped an array of outstanding cooperation outcomes in planning, transport infrastructure development, industry, trade, tourism, agriculture, among other fields. However, these results have yet to match with the region’s economic development potentials.

Nguyen Duc Long, Chairman of the Quang Ninh People’s Committee, said the most difficulty facing the regional connectivity is transportation. He noted that his province will basically complete highway networks in 2018.

Long also stressed the need to complete an express railway that connects the capital city of Hanoi with the port city of Hai Phong and Ha Long city in Quang Ninh province.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong held that the regional localities have yet to fully exploit advantages in waterway transportation, thus roads have been overloaded, leading to high transportation fees and slow flow of goods.

Nguyen Chi Dung, Minister of Planning and Investment, emphasised the importance of a common thought of the entire region in working out policies and investment programmes and projects.

The regional localities should partner together and support each other for common benefits and development, he said.

Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung asserted that the region has basically completed tasks in the first year of the 2016-2020 development plan, fueled by the country’s intensive international integration and new opportunities.

Hanoi’s economic growth in 2016 reached 8.2 percent, with budget collection hitting 173 trillion VND (7.7 billion USD) and total social investment estimated at 278 trillion VND (12.4 billion USD). The city saw the establishment of over 22,900 new firms in the year, he noted.

Chung called for the regional localities to foster connectivity to create sustainable value chains and fulfill sustainable development goals.

He pledged to adopt more supporting policies for safe agricultural production and trading facilities to encourage links from production to distribution.

Chung also proposed the regional localities organise more trans-provincial tourism events, conferences, exhibitions and fairs to promote regional tourism and introduce cultural values of each locality, thus boosting the rapid development of industry and services.-VNA