Vehicles move on Van Lang Bridge linking Phu Tho province and Hanoi capital (Photo: VNA)

Phu Tho (VNA) – From a small-scale economy and disaster-prone province, Phu Tho has grown to become the second most developed province in the northern midland and mountainous region after implementing the local 18th Party Congress’ resolution for only half of the 2015-2020 tenure.

The announcement was made at the 15th meeting of the province’s 18th-tenure Party Committee in the beginning of October.

In his remarks at the event, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Hoang Dan Mac said the province’s 18th Party Congress for the 2015-2020 tenure outlined four key breakthroughs in economic development, which are infrastructure investment, public administrative reform, human resources development, and tourism. It has also set 20 main objectives, five tasks, and nine key solutions to boost local socio-economic development towards sustainability.

The provincial Party Committee has adopted 43 resolutions related to individual sectors, 12 action programmes, and a number of guiding documents, tailored to fit the context of each district.

Half way of the tenure, Phu Tho has achieved and exceeded nine out of 20 objectives, while the implementation of 11 others are in progress and are expected to be completed by 2020.

The local economy has seen strong growths over the last three years with positive economic restructuring and the GDP expanding 1.32 times compared to 2015. Investment in infrastructure development has also increased to create a great push for the province’s socio-economic growth.

Last year, the province’s total export value rose 36.8 percent year-on-year to 1.3 billion USD, with the highest figures seen in shipments of garment and textiles, sport shoes, plastic, and processed tea. This was the second time that its export revenue had surpassed 1 billion USD. Of the total amount, 1.1 billion USD was contributed by foreign-invested companies.

Notably, the local culture has also marked a remarkable achievement as the unique art of Xoan singing was transferred to the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2017 in recognition for efforts by the local communities to reinforce its popularity.

Closely linked to the worship of the Hung Kings, Xoan singing is a religious practice rooted in the ancestral worship of the Vietnamese people. It is traditionally performed during the first two months of the lunar calendar in holy places such as temples, sanctuaries, and communal houses.

There are three forms of Xoan singing: worship singing for the Hung kings and village guardian spirits; ritual singing for good crops, health, and luck; and festival singing where villagers alternate male and female voices in a form of courtship.

The musical tradition used to be inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2011 due to the declining appreciation of the genre amongst young people. 

According to the Party Committee, the province has accelerated public administrative reform and cut back thousands of jobs in the public service sector to enhance efficiency. Some 17,300 part-time civil servants working for residential areas and 570 full-time governmental employees across the province have been let go of, while governmental units have been merged or dissolved to reduce the total from 97 to 32.

Phu Tho has focused on capacity building for grassroots Party committees and recruiting new Party members. More than 3,200 people have joined the Communist Party each year, exceeding the congress’ target.

It has also worked hard to maintain and consolidate local defence and security, as well as promoting thrift and the prevention of wastefulness and corruption.

Inspection and supervision at Party committees at all levels have been strengthened in a regular and comprehensive manner with the focus on “sensitive” areas or “hot” issues of public interest.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Bui Minh Chau said Phu Tho will further strive to implement four breakthroughs and foster better coordination between relevant state agencies to remove barriers for enterprises, encourage the application of new technologies, diversify products, and improve local competitiveness.

The province will also continue to develop commercial farming and forestry in tandem with supply chains and agricultural restructuring, as well as build new-style rural areas with sustainable poverty reduction. Additionally, it plans to promptly settle complaints and denunciations over Party members and organisations. –VNA