The Steering Committee for the Central Highlands and the Foreign Ministry should come up with a coordination scheme to provide the latest information on the region to Vietnamese ambassadors abroad, especially those involving democracy and human rights to counter false allegations by hostile forces.

So said Deputy Foreign Minister Thach Du, who led a delegation of Vietnamese diplomats, at a working session with the committee in Dak Lak province on July 1.

Ambassadors and consul generals will serve as a bridge linking the Central Highlands and international friends, especially in the field of trade, Du said.

Members of the committee also offered suggestions on external relations work, including dissemination of information on the region, its trade promotion, acceleration of demarcation with neighbouring countries of Laos and Cambodia, and activities of non-governmental organisations there.

Covering over 54,400km, the Central Highlands encompasses the provinces of Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Lam Dong, Gia Lai and Kon Tum with a population of over 5.4 million people, 25.7 percent of them ethnic minority, deputy head of the committee, Lieut. Gen. Trieu Xuan Hoa reported.

For the past 10 years, its economy has expanded 10 percent on annual average, generating 15 trillion VND (714 million USD) to its local budget. Its farm produce such as coffee, rubber, pepper, tea and cashew nuts rake in billions of USD from exports.

Nearly 97 percent of local districts and communes have their own medical stations while many new universities, colleges and vocational schools have been built.

A mere 13.64 percent of local households is living in poverty. For the past 13 years, the region has offered vocational training to over 300,000 and generated jobs to more than 1.15 million workers.-VNA