Lai Chau should focus on linking its production to processing and sake of its products as a way to helps the province reduce poverty sustainably, said Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh.

The Deputy PM made the request during his working session with leaders of the northwestern mountainous province on January 10 to review its implementation of national target programmes. These are committed to building new rural areas and sustainable poverty reduction.

Despite encouraging achievements including an annual average economic growth of 13 percent over the last 10 years (income per capital averaged 14.5 million VND (about 690 USD) in 2013, nearly seven times higher than in 2003), Lai Chau remains one of the most impoverished provinces in the country, ranking eighth out of the 15 regional provinces in new rural area performance.

Its rate of poor households stood at 27.22 percent last year.

Deputy PM Ninh, speaking at the session, hailed the recent achievements Lai Chau has gained, in particular with hydropower work.

In regards to the new rural area model, he noted the province needs to work out concrete criteria related to production, labour and continued social order with the participation of locals.

The government official asked the province to pay more attention to its locals, especially the poor during the coming Lunar New Year, along with strengthening market management and traffic safety during the holiday.

During his stay, the Deputy PM called on a tea nursery in Tam Duong district and presented 50 gifts to poor households and beneficiaries of social welfare there.-VNA