Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has urged the Mekong Delta province of Long An to become a modernised industrial province in the 2016-20 period.

The province should strengthen the industry and service sectors, while reducing the overreliance on agricultural labour, the PM said during a working session with provincial leaders on March 24. He suggested that local authorities promote hi-tech agriculture to generate more added value for the sector.

The PM requested the province to instruct farmers to replace inefficient crops with more productive ones, allowing them to optimise land use to raise their incomes. He also stressed the importance of boosting private economic growth, while speeding up the building of new-style rural areas.

According to Long An leaders, the locality is estimated to fulfil and exceed 16 out of its 19 socio-economic goals in the near future. While the province has yet to complete all of its economic growth, export and social investment targets, its achievements in these fields are still considerable.

Long An’s growth in the 2011-14 period reached 11.1 percent annually and is expected to hit 11.5 percent this year, and about 11.25 percent for the 2011-15 period.

Last year, the annual per capita GDP of the province was 44.5 million VND (2,047 USD). This is hoped to be raised to 50 million USD (2,300 USD) in 2015.

Industry-construction accounted for 41.5 percent of the province’s economic structure in 2014, while trade-services made up 31.2 percent and agro-forestry-fishery 27.3 percent.

Meanwhile, 27 local communes have satisfied all 19 criteria of the new-style rural area building programme. By the end of this year, the number is expected to stand at 36 out of the total 166 communes.

Progress has also been seen in poverty reduction, with the ratio of poor households standing at only 3.8 percent by the end of last year. This figure is likely to drop under 3 percent by the end of this year.-VNA