|Party leader Nong Duc Manh (R) greets elderly official in Ho Chi Minh City.|
"Ho Chi Minh City has long been regarded as being creative and dynamic but now, in the context of Viet Nam’s integration into the World Trade Organization, it can also be looked at as a model of rapid yet sustainable economic development" said Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh.
During a working session with roughly 800 officials and intellectuals in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday, the Party Leader stressed that the international economic integration process is presenting new opportunities and challenges to the city and the nation as a whole.
According to Mr. Manh, to make the most of opportunities and turn challenges into stimuli for rapid development, it is imperative to continue operating under a socialist paradigm and build the nation under the motto: "of the people, by the people and for the people".
The Party Leader asked local authorities to intensify efforts aimed at reducing poverty and accelerating the development of socio-economic infrastructure in underprivileged areas, saying that it is important that all Vietnamese people share in the fruits of economic development. He also stressed the need to narrow the gap between rich and poor.
The Party leader also praised the city’s achievements in 2006, including an economic growth rate of more than 12% and foreign capital investment of more than US$2 billion. The city represented nearly 20% of the country's GDP, 30% of the national budget and boasts the highest average income rates for workers at approximately US$2,000 per year.
Mr. Manh said the city was able to accomplish so much due to its successful implementation of the resolutions put forth at the 10th Party Congress and the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Congress. The city has inherited and brought into play the nation’s traditions of unity and responsibility, he added.
The Party leader emphasized the need to develop high-tech industries and high-quality services in the future such as banking, finance and healthcare, saying "Ho Chi Minh City must be a competitive leader and get the upper hand."
He also praised the city’s contribution to the State in terms of sharing experiences to develop more practical policies. He added that the socio-economic models applied by the city during the renewal process represent "models for the improvement of the nation’s policies as well as guidelines for prioritizing areas that need to be developed."
The city should promptly summarize its achievements in the job allocation program for former drug addicts so that other localities can study and implement the same program, said Mr. Manh.
During his stay in the city on January 30-31, the Party leader also visited Military Zone No 7, where he reminded officials and staff there of the important task of maintaining political stability, security and peace for local and national development.
The Party leader also visited the Ho Chi Minh city Police headquarters to talk about the significance of the upcoming election of the 12th National Assembly scheduled for May 2007.