Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has urged the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau to tap local potential in land to achieve a higher economic growth rate.

While working with provincial authorities on April 21, PM Dung told them to take the advantage of the total land area of 9,000 to develop forests and the wood processing industry, as well as boost agriculture and husbandry.

The Government leader also told the province to take the advantage of investment from the government to rapidly reduce poverty and train human resources.

PM Dung praised Lai Chau for efforts it made since it was re-established seven years ago to obtain remarkable socio-economic achievements, especially high economic growth and rapid poverty reduction, while maintaining national defence and security.

He also praised local authorities and people for strictly implementing Party and Government policies on resettlement for over 11,000 households which had given land for the building of Son La, Lai Chau, Huoi Quang and Ban Chat hydropower plants, making important contributions to the country’s development.

However, Lai Chau is still a poor province with poor infrastructure and a low rate of local residents undergoing vocational training.

PM Dung affirmed that the government will help Lai Chau to grow rapidly and sustainably, focusing on resettlement, hydropower plant development and rare earth processing.

Secretary of the Party’s Committee of Lai Chau Lo Van Giang briefed the PM about the local socio-economic development in the recent past and its preparatory work for the elections to the 13th National Assembly and People's Council at all levels for the 2011-16 term.

In 2011, the province strives to obtain a GDP growth rate of 16 percent and per capita income of 9.2 million VND, reduce the rate of poor households by 5 percent, and ensure all of its communes are accessible by car./.