Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Source: VNA)
Lao Cai (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has instructed Lao Cai province to focus on developing its tourism, which is considered a key economic sector in the fight against poverty and the promotion of cultural identities of ethnic groups in the northwestern region.

Talking to local authorities at their working session in the northern mountainous province on April 12, he said that tourism should contribute 30 percent to gross domestic product (GDP).

In the 2011-2015 period, the sector contributed to 11.5 percent of the province’s GDP. Last year, Lao Cai served 2.77 million tourists, up 33 percent from the previous year.

It is striving to welcome more than 6 million tourists, and become a key tourism centre of the northwestern region by 2020, with Sa Pa becoming a national tourism site.

At the event, the Government leader also instructed the province to boost border gate economic development.

Promoting border gate economic development is a way for Lao Cai to build the locality into a commodity entrepôt for countries in the Mekong sub-region and China as well as a modern logistics centre for the region, connecting with seaports, airports, railways, and road transport, he stated.

He required the locality to deal with issues related to the environment and social security and strive to fulfil its socio-economic tasks in 2017, particularly in completing the disbursement of investment capital for infrastructure development.

Responding to the province’s proposals, PM Phuc agreed to invest in developing the Lao Cai border gate economic zone into a commodity entrepôt for countries in the Mekong sub-region.-VNA