PM urges Lào Cai to develop in a sustainable way
KONFRONTASI - Lào Cai must strive towards sustainable and inclusive tourism development, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc told attendees at the northern mountainous province’s trade, investment and tourism promotion conference, which took place on Saturday.
The Government leader said Lào Cai must foster tourism growth while preserving local landscapes, pristine environment and natural biodiversity, as well as protect the unique cultures of 25 ethnic minority groups in the province. All local people must also be able to enjoy the fruits of tourism development for what they have contributed.
Referring to Lào Cai's Sa Pa as the "town in the mist,” PM Phúc remarked that aside from world-renowned tourist attractions in coastal localities, with the huge potentials of northern mountainous provinces such as Lào Cai, Việt Nam could make a name for itself in mountain tourism globally.
In addition, the PM urged the province to sustainably develop local traditional industries, like the making of steel billets, cement, kaolin, and yellow phosphorus, saying the Government does not welcome investors in mining with a short-term vision, outdated technology and small-scale production that may hamper environmental sustainability while contributing little to economic growth and improving local incomes.
He also underlined the need to intensify prevention of illegal mineral exports and revoke inefficient mining projects.
The leader moved on to talk about Lào Cai’s promising agriculture, highlighting seven crops set to grow on large-scale specialised farms, including high-quality rice, specialty rice, medicinal herbs, vegetables, high-quality tea, tropical fruits, temperate fruits and flowers.
If advanced techniques and technologies are applied, average agricultural revenue can reach VNĐ120-150 million (US$5,160-6,450) per hectare and possibly up to VNĐ300 million per hectare or more in the next few years, he said.
Phúc suggested Lào Cai develop agriculture on three pillars – organic and clean farming, use of high technology in production and processing, and linkages in value chains.
He asked the province to improve accessibility of land and information for businesses and enhance quality of business support services while investing more in vocational education and human resources quality, taking advantage of its central location on the Kunming (China)-Lào Cai-Hà Nội-Hải Phòng-Quảng Ninh economic corridor.
The Vietnamese Government leader also sent a message to investors, saying all investors to Lào Cai in particular and the Northwest region in general are appreciated as, in spite of this land’s great potential, local people struggle to make ends meet and infrastructure is poor in many areas.
“Each penny from the investor, each livelihood or job created is valuable. Business aside, what matters is the thought towards the society, the country and the people,” he said.
He wanted the investors to honour their commitments and make a worthy contribution to the local economy, not only helping create employment but also improve incomes, productivity and social welfare for local people.
The event, themed ‘Lào Cai – A Destination of Success’, brought together over 500 delegates, many of whom were representatives from major groups and enterprises at home and overseas.
Later at the conference, Lào Cai signed cooperation agreements with 11 partners, worth over VNĐ124 trillion ($5.3 billion) and presented decisions approving investment for eight projects worth VNĐ22 trillion (US$1 billion).
These projects are expected to commence between 2019 and early 2020.
During 2004-18, Lào Cai attracted 618 domestic projects worth VNĐ93 trillion, while licencing 29 foreign-funded projects worth $574.7 million.
Striving for top 15
Later on Saturday, the Government leader had a meeting with the Lào Cai Government, where he asked that Lào Cai would soon to be named among top 15 developed localities in Việt Nam.
At the meeting, Đặng Xuân Phong, Chairman of the Lao Cai People’s Committee, informed the PM on the province’s recent socio-economic development.
In the first six months of 2019, its Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) grew 10.02 per cent. The province welcomed nearly 3 million tourists, generating an annual revenue increase of over 20 per cent for the local tourism sector. Lào Cai fulfilled 60 per cent of its budget collection target.
Participating officials proposed the PM and Government direct the local building of special mechanisms to support investment in infrastructure.
They recommended the Government continue selecting the Lào Cai border gate economic zone to be among key zones of its kind for 2021-25, build a bridge crossing the Red River in Bát Xát District’s Bản Vược Commune to connect Việt Nam with China, and invest in the construction of the Lào Cai-Hà Nội-Hải Phòng railway.
Agreeing with a number of such proposals, including the building of the bridge, PM Phúc said he asked relevant ministries and agencies to assist Lào Cai in carrying out these projects in line with regulations.
During his trip to the northern border province, PM Phúc also paid a visit to Trần Thị Don, wife of war hero Phạm Ngọc Tuy and the family of war invalid Bùi Xuân Xanh, on the occasion of the 72th anniversary of War Invalids and Martyrs Day (July 27).(jft/Viet Nam News)