Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hailed the idea of building a startup ecosystem in the southern province of Ben Tre during a working session with local authorities on June 18 in Hanoi.

The PM said this novel mindset will contribute to reducing poverty, improving management in State-run agencies, and supporting farmers and entrepreneurs to do business.

A startup ecosystem is formed by people, startups in their various stages and various types of organisations in a location, interacting as a system to create new startup companies.

The PM extolled Ben Tre for proactively enacting measures to cope with saltwater intrusion and ensure social welfares.

He suggested the province promote innovation spirit in management and concentrate financial resources on tackling difficulties in realising the local development goals and improving local living standards.

It is important to boost the application of science and technology in farming and raise public awareness of integrating economic development with climate change adaptation, he added.

The Government leader asked the locality to diversify and mobilise capital resources to build climate change adaptive facilities, as well as prioritise investment in transport, irrigation and water resources projects to ensure sustainable development.

Addressing the event, Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung suggested Ben Tre review its planning scheme in line with that of the Mekong Delta, focusing on transport infrastructure development and economic restructuring in accordance with the provincial and regional climate change strategy.

He urged the province to improve roads and waterways while developing a seaports system to develop industry and marine transport.

The province should develop its land fund as a primary factor to appeal for investment, he said, recommending balancing financial resources, selecting suitable investment models, and prioritising build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects, to yield higher efficiency.

With a 65-km coastline and favourable infrastructure network, Ben Tre boasts strength in aquaculture and rice production. It also connects the Mekong Delta with the southern key economic zone.

Like other Mekong Delta localities, Ben Tre had to bear brunt of the severe saltwater intrusion in the first half of 2016. The total economic loss was estimated at 1.5 trillion VND (67.5 million USD). Meanwhile, more than 20,000 hectares of rice and over 4,000 hectares of fruits were damaged.

In January-June, the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) increased by only 2.68 percent against the same period last year, failing to reach its target of 6.5 percent and recording the lowest growth over the past few years.-VNA