Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has emphasised the need for the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai to focus on building infrastructure system, especially in transportation, in order to boost its socio-economic development.

Working with key provincial leaders in Hanoi on July 29, PM Dung urged Lao Cai to improve its investment environment and enhance its competitiveness, thus attracting more investment.

He asked the province to utilise its advantages and potential, especially in service, tourism, border trading, mining and agriculture, to successfully fulfil its set socio-economic targets.

At the same time, the locality should speed up the national target programme on building new-style rural areas in line with upgrading rural infrastructure and supporting farmers in boosting agro-forestry, applying advanced technology in production and expanding markets for local products, he said.

Meanwhile, special attention should be paid to reducing poverty and bettering social welfares for locals, while ensuring defence, political security and social safety and order in the locality, building a borderline of peace, friendship, cooperation and development, contributing to protecting the national sovereignty, he said.

PM Dung also reiterated Vietnam ’s constant stance of safeguarding the national territory in parallel with keeping normal cooperation relationship with China , asking Lao Cai to maintain and promote economic partnership and bilateral cooperation in other fields with China for mutual benefit.

At the meeting, he also hailed the locality’s efforts in maintaining high economic growth, recording rapid poverty reduction and ensuring defence and security situation despite many difficulties as a mountainous and boundary province with large area and small population.

According to Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Doan Van Huong, over the past 20 years, Lao Cai has secured a high growth rate at 11 percent per year averagely.

Last year, the province’s economy expanded 10 times compared to that of 1991. The locality’s per capita income reached 29.7 million VND (1,414 USD), a 59.4-fold increase from the 1991’s figure, the highest number compared to other regional localities, he reported.

However, he also acknowledged a number of shortcomings in the locality, including poor infrastructure system, high ratio of poor households at about 20 percent.

In addition, the quality of its human resources remained poor, while the problems of women trafficking, drug smullging and uncontrolled migration remained, the official added.-VNA