Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Duc Trung addresses the conference (Photo: VNA)

Thua Thien-Hue (VNA) – Nearly 300 delegates from 19 provinces and cities in the northern central, central coastal and Central Highlands regions gathered at a conference held by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) in Thua Thien-Hue’s Hue city on August 12.

Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Duc Trung suggested that delegates should focus on evaluating the implementation of public investment plan for 2019, obstacles during the plan’s implementation and measures to conduct the plan for 2020, the last year of the five-year development plan.

He also called on the participants to give solutions to remove difficulties and speed up the disbursement of public investment.

Regarding the building of the socio-economic development plan for the 2021-2025 period, Trung held that the localities should pay greater attention to choosing prioritised projects to promote growth of the whole regions, as well as the principles and criteria for using State budget.

He said that the revised Law on Public Investment will be the major basis for the building of the public investment plan for the 2021-2025 period.

The Deputy Minister noted that the central, Central Highlands regions, covering more than 150,000 sq.km with a population of over 24 million, have seen good results in optimising its advantages for socio-economic development.

In 2018, 12 out of the 14 northern central and central coastal localities recorded growth of 8.5 percent, higher than the country’s average. In the Central Highlands region, four out of the five provinces also reported growth rates higher the nation’s average level.

These are strategic regions in terms of politics, economy, society, defence and security of the country as well as a connecting point of the northern and southern regions.

Trung noted that the 1,900km central coastline plays an important role in maritime economic development and economic activities of the country. Meanwhile, the Central Highlands region has advantages in hydropower and solar power, agro-forestry, agricultural product processing, and tourism.

At the conference, representatives of the provinces and cities pointed out a number of difficulties in implementing the public investment plan.

According to Chairman of the People’s Committee of Thua Thien-Hue Phan Ngoc Tho, many central and Central Highlands provinces have faced difficulties in infrastructure system, with small economic scale and low per capita income.

He said that the regional localities hope to receive more attention and support from the central agencies, ministries and sectors in building their own strategies, planning schemes and plans for regional development.

It is necessary to design special policies in attracting and allocating resources for the region in 2020 as well as the 2021-2025 period, thus forming connectivity and create breakthroughs in socio-economic development of the region in line with coping with climate change and sea level rise, and narrowing the growth gap with the Red River delta and southeast regions, Tho said.-VNA