State President Nguyen Minh Triet highly praised the authorities of the northern province of Lao Cai for their part in achieving an 11 percent GDP growth rate despite the global economic crisis.

The State President visited Lao Cai from August 9-11, where he held a working session with the province’s Party and administration leaders and representatives of the public to inquire into the locality’s socio-economic performance and justice reform in line with the Political Bureau’s Resolution 49-NQ/TU on Justice Reform Strategy through 2020.

Located in a mountainous border area, Lao Cai is facing difficulties in developing its transport infrastructure, and in eliminating poverty, which still affects about 23 percent of households and has put three communes on the list of the nation’s 61 poorest, qualifying them for Government support.

To address these difficulties, President Triet asked Lao Cai to concentrate on shifting its economic structure toward making industry, services and tourism their keystone and fully tapping the potential of border trade with China .

The President also asked the province to continue emphasising agriculture as the sector provides a crucial base to ensure food security for the people.

In addition, he urged the provincial administration to pay special attention to ethnic affairs and poverty reduction, especially in remote and rural areas where minorities reside.

The head of state endorsed the province’s proposal to build a 19-km expressway to serve the “Vietnam-China two corridors and one economic belt” route and the Lao Cai airport to enable the locality to make the most of Sapa – one of the most-favoured northern tourism destinations for both local and foreign tourists.

During the visit, President Triet toured Na Loc-Coc Phuong hamlet in Ban Lau commune, Muong Khuong district, where up to 840 households of the H’Mong and Dao ethnic minorities have settled since 1990.

Residents of the hamlet have learnt to apply new farming techniques and transformed their low-yield maize and rice fields into commercial crops, such as pineapple and banana, with households now earning as much as 50 million VND a year.

The State President also took the occasion to visit two families in Sapa, that of Au Dinh Van, who is a veteran from the nation’s resistance war against French colonialists, and Hang A Chao, who was disabled while fighting in the US war.

He also made tours of the provincial boarding school, border guard station No. 247, the Lao Cai International border gate, the Kim Thanh Industry-Commerce Zone, the Lao Cai-Cam Duong New Urban Complex, and provincial military and public security forces./.