The Northwestern region posted a high and stable economic growth with people’s living standards improved and the number of poor households rapidly decreasing in 2011, said Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Deputy PM Phuc, who is also Head of the Northwest Steering Committee, was speaking at a Jan. 13 meeting to review the region’s achievements in 2011 and put forth an orientation and tasks for 2012.

More attention was paid to infrastructure, while political security and social order were ensured, said the Deputy PM.

Last year, the whole region’s GDP grew 10.33 percent and GDP per capita reached 15.432 million VND, up 3.04 million VND compared with 2010.

The region contributed over 15.49 trillion VND to the State budget, representing a year-on-year increase of 32.54 percent.

Phuc also pointed out shortcomings and weaknesses remained, such as the high rate of poor households in comparison with that of the country, underdeveloped goods production, loose inter-regional connections and inadequacy in education and training as well as the health care sector.

Mentioning forest land, which is seen as the region’s strength, Phuc said there is a lack of policies and technical measures to make the best use of these resources.

At the same time, issues regarding political security, drug trafficking and unsound customs have still hindered the region’s socio-economic development, Phuc said.

The Deputy PM urged departments, branches and localities in the region to closely follow instructions and resolutions issued by the Political Bureau, the Party Central Committee and the Government while continuing to renew their working styles.

He especially required localities to place importance on the improvement of leadership capacity, hunger elimination and poverty reduction, the development of human resources and armed forces, and HIV/AIDS prevention. /.