President Truong Tan Sang asked the northern province of Quang Ninh to strive to become a stronghold of defence and international cooperation at his working session with the provincial authorities on July 27.

As part of the northeast development triangle, Quang Ninh sits on the largest coal reserve in Southeast Asia and boasts an abundance of world heritages and natural wonders.

In its strategy to shift toward an economy driven by green industries, it is taking steps to speed up administrative reforms and technology upgrades.

The President, however, commented that the province is relying too much on natural resources rather than high-value products that a knowledge-based economy should produce.

To minimise the impacts of climate change and environment pollution, Quang Ninh should phase out its exports of crude materials. At the same time, hi-tech projects, especially those in agro-processing and workforce training are also in need, the leader advised.

As the global integration brings about high competition pressure, the province should seek a sound development model in order to achieve a two-digit growth rate, he added.

In response to Quang Ninh’s proposal to build Van Don island district into a special economic zone, Sang said the province should study other countries’ experience in this regard.

The local authorities also asked for the State assistance to expand ports and defence areas on some islands, and ramp up trade infrastructure as well.

In January-June, Quang Ninh’s economy expanded by 6.9 percent and collected over 34 trillion VND (1.6 billion USD) in tax revenue, placing it among the top five contributors to the State budget.

The locality is working to connect its Mong Duong 1 and Mong Duong 2 thermo-power plants to the national grid soon. It is also the first province in the country to bring the national grid to every village on the mainland. The inflow of foreign direct investment so far this year hit 283 million USD, up 3.6 times year-on-year.

The same day, the President also toured Cai Lan international port and Ha Long shipbuilding company.-VNA