Phu Tho advised to focus more on tourism development hinh anh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses the congress (Photo: VNA)

Phu Tho (VNA) - Politburo member and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has suggested that the northern midland province of Phu Tho turn tourism into a spearhead economic sector by enhancing the added value and quality of services and diversifying tourism products.

With two UNESCO-recognised intangible cultural heritages - Hung Kings worshipping and Xoan singing - Phu Tho should coordinate with Hanoi and other nearby localities in promoting tourism development and boosting services and industry, the leader said at the opening of the 19th provincial Party Congress on October 27.

Discussing the province’s shortcomings, including the modest development of the service and tourism sectors, he asked it to optimise its potential and advantages to bolster economic restructuring.

He said he hopes it will work to gradually ease its demand for support from the central budget and within the next five years join localities able to balance their budget.

A report presented at the congress showed that Phu Tho met 19 out of the 20 socio-economic targets in the 2015-2020 period, with economic growth reaching 7.86 percent per year and economic scale expanding 1.7 times against 2015.

Annual per capita GDP is estimated at 52.5 million VND (2,260 USD). Export revenue has increased 30.2 percent each year and the rate of poor households has fallen 1.5 percent each year.

The province has seen 116 communes fulfilling all criteria in the new-style rural area building programme, while 59 others have basically reached the criteria, along with four districts recognised as new-style rural areas.

The province mobilised 50 trillion VND for infrastructure building in the period, up 1.38 times compared to the 2011-2015 period. Phu Tho has also conducted 199 projects in eight different sectors, including 25 in infrastructure development.

More than 238,000 workers have received training over the last five years.

From a locality standing in last place out of the 63 localities in the provincial competitiveness index (PCI), Phu Tho has risen to the 26th position and is third out of the 14 northern mountainous localities.

In the next five years, the province aims to focus on improving its investment and business environment to attract more investment, while speeding up administrative reform and enhancing human resources quality.

In the 2020-2025 period, Phu Tho targets economic growth of 7.5 percent per year and export revenue of over 3.8 billion USD. Total social investment in the five years is expected to reach over 190 trillion VND, while budget collections by 2025 are projected at 10 trillion VND./.