Reducing poverty among ethnic minority groups in a rapid and sustainable manner is a key priority for the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung during a working session with provincial leaders on February 9.

Noting the persistently high poverty ratio in the locality, especially among minority groups which sits at over 62 percent, the Government leader suggested that Dak Lak utilise its potential advantages, especially in agro-forestry, industrial plants, breeding, and processing to boost socio-economic development.

The locality should call for investment and hasten the application of advanced technology in production to enhance the efficiency and quality of its products and services, he said.

He also urged the province to implement more drastic measures to accelerate the construction of new-style rural areas.

Specifically, additional support should be provided to locals for protecting and promoting forestry as well as improved education and healthcare services, he said.

The PM also highlighted the importance of Party building and developing a political system with efficiency and integrity at its core, improving the implementation of ethnic minority and religious policies, and ensuring security and defence.

According to Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nie Thuat, the province recorded an economic growth of 8.4 percent last year, with per capita income reaching 31.4 million VND (1,475 USD) on average.

So far, two communes have fulfilled all 19 criteria of the programme, while many others have completed at least 13 criteria, he said.

In 2015, the province targets a 10 percent growth, a per capita income of 35 million VND (1,645 USD), a poverty ratio decrease of 3 percent, and 27,000 new available jobs, stated Nie Thuat.

During his stay, PM Nguyen Tan Dung also paid pre-New Year visits to former leaders of the locality as well as a number of local artisans.-VNA