Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has suggested the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang develop its economy beyond agriculture, including industry, tourism, and services by utilising any and all available resources.

With strongholds in farming and fisheries, Soc Trang needs to reduce the rate of impoverished households while addressing environmental pollution and rising sea levels, the Party chief told local authorities during a working session on March 9, adding that workforce quality should be improved upon in the name of industrialisation and modernisation.

As the all-level Party Congresses ahead of the 12 th National Party Congress are quickly approaching, he urged the province to push Party build-up forward in tandem with expanding a campaign on studying and following the late President Ho Chi Minh’s moral examples.

At the same time, initiatives to stamp out social vices like corruption, bureaucracy, and wastefulness are to be continued.

Last year, the local economy expanded by 10.4 percent with a gross domestic product per capita reaching 34.3 million VND (1,640 USD).

In agriculture, the province harvested over 2.2 million tonnes of rice with an average output of 6.2 tonnes per hectare. Total aquaculture output was estimated at 205,000 tonnes.

The industrial production value topped 9.5 trillion VND (452.3 million USD) in addition to 650 million USD worth of exports. Soc Trang also collected more than 1.98 trillion VND (94.7 million USD) for the State budget.

The national target programme on new rural development recorded positive results; including cutting back the poverty rate to 12.49 percent.

Soc Trang also applied the self-criticism practices set under the resolution adopted by the fourth plenum of the Party Central Committee (11 th tenure) and initiated actions to tackle shortcomings and possible violations promptly.

Visiting Ngoc To commune in My Xuyen district, one of the 22 localities chosen to implement the national target programme on new rural development, Trong called on the programme to be implemented sustainably. He also encouraged the commune to maintain its sense of patriotism and creativity in labour as well as improve the quality of life of its residents.

In 2014, the local average income per capital rose to 31 million VND (1,400 USD) and the household poverty rate was brought down to 4.88 percent from 22.4 percent.

He also took the occasion to visit and present gifts to heroic Vietnamese mothers and the families of war heroes.

Meeting members of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS)’s Supreme Patriarch and Executive Councils led by Most Venerable Duong Nhon, Vice President of the VBS’s Executive Council and Head of the Soc Trang Buddhist Sangha’s Executive Board, the Party leader expressed his hope that the local Buddhist community would remain united and contribute further to society.-VNA