Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked northwestern provinces to improve their coordination as it failed to help them tap advantages held by each locality and the entire region for their overall development.

The head of the Steering Committee for the Northwestern Region made the request while chairing a teleconference on July 14 to review the committee’s performance in the first half and set forth its main tasks for the rest of the year.

He pointed to shortcomings needed to be fixed by regional provinces, including weak connectivity, poor transport infrastructure, a lack of high-quality human resources, and a high rate of poor households.

The Deputy PM requested provincial authorities take responsibility for ensuring local people do not suffer from hunger and diseases as well.

They were asked to increase the number of Mong ethnic minority officials in communal political systems to serve the future needs as requested by the Prime Minister in Decision 781/QD-TTg.

They were also required to join hands with ministries in dealing with undocumented migration of ethnic minorities while speeding up the State management on religious affairs.

Regional localities need to create all favourable conditions to boost trade ties, protect foreign citizens and investors, and build a border area of peace, friendship and solidarity, Phuc said.

They must proactively reinforce the fight against trade frauds, drug trafficking, and other crimes.

In the first six months of 2014, the northwestern region recorded an economic growth of 8.03 percent. It collected 8.95 trillion VND (420.65 million USD) for the State budget, up 14.8 percent against the same period last year.

Over 40 big programmes and projects, including those on poverty reduction in ethnic-inhabited areas, were implemented effectively, while social and security issues in mountainous, border areas were put under control.-VNA