Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has directed the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien to pay attention to socio-economic infrastructure, particularly its transport system in a bid to shed its status as an underdeveloped locality.

Dien Bien is among the poorest provinces in the northwestern region, with a sparse population and harsh climate. Located in a strategic area in terms of national defence and security, the locality is home to the country’s biggest hydropower plants and holds potential in agro-forestry and tourism.

Party leader Trong made the call at a working session between the Political Bureau and the provincial Party Committee’s standing board in Hanoi on January 16 to review the implementation of the Resolution by the 11th National Party Congress and another one adopted by its 12th Party Congress for the 2010-2015 period.

He suggested Dien Bien set the goal of becoming a middle-class province in the region by 2020. To do this, it must focus on industrialisation and modernisation.

In any case, Dien Bien must maintain political stability and social order and safety while ensuring national defence and security, he said, adding that it is a crucial task.

On the building of the political system, he asked the province to combat the degradation of political ideology, ethics and lifestyle while paying attention to personnel work to ensure that there are enough cadres and officials working for the next term.

The Politburo vowed to work out all necessary mechanisms and policies in support of Dien Bien’s sustainable progress.

Over the past three years, the locality has recorded an annual growth of 9.64 percent on average with its economic structure gradually moving away from agriculture.

Improvements are seen in services, cross-border trade, tourism, socio-culture, healthcare and education. Income per capita hit 20.4 million VND (970 USD) and the annual rate of poor households has fallen by 5 percent.

The resettlement of those displaced by Son La and Lai Chau hydropower plants has worked well while the Party build-up has been strengthened.

By 2015, its economic growth is expected to be 12 percent with income per capita of 1,100 USD per year. The rate of poor households will fall to below 15 percent.

Following the session, the Politburo will issue guidelines exclusively designed for the province, detailing its development until 2020.-VNA