President Truong Tan Sang toured the central province of Quang Tri on September 7-8, where he visited Con Co island district and inspected the new-style rural area building programme in Vinh Thanh commune, Vinh Linh district.

Emphasising the importance of Con Co island district for national security and defence strategy, President Sang called on the locality to apply measures to promote local socio-economic development without affecting defence efforts.

He also suggested islanders should pay more attention to protecting the island’s forests.

During his visit to Vinh Thach commune, the State leader hailed the locality’s efforts to implement the new-style rural area building programme, fulfilling 15 out of the total 19 criteria and targeting to achieve the rest by the end of this year.

He urged Vinh Thach to accelerate the application of agricultural production technologies to improve the quality of products, particularly pepper and rubber, and share their experience with other localities.

In a working session with key provincial leaders, President Sang urged Quang Tri to increase its GDP to bring it in line with the national average.

He said more attention should be paid to national defence and security, agricultural development and the new-style rural area building programme.

The locality was also requested to make full use of its strengths in processing agricultural, forestry and aquatic products and effectively utilise its resources.

Labour-intensive sectors such as garment, textile and footwear manufacturing should be regarded as leading industries, the leader noted.

In terms of services, he urged Quang Tri to review the East-West Economic Corridor development programmes and work on tourism in collaboration with neighbouring countries.

The President also highlighted the need for provincial leaders to clarify the role of the Lao Bao border economic area in the East-West Economic Corridor.

According to the Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, Nguyen Duc Cuong, Quang Tri recorded an annual GDP growth of 7.2 percent, with a budget rise of 55 percent and an increase in exports of 21 percent.

The province has invested 11.26 trillion VND in the building of new-style rural areas, he said.

He suggested that more central support be provided for a number of projects, including bringing electricity to Con Co, building a dyke system on the island, and constructing My Thuy port.

On the occasion of the Mid-Autumn festival, President Sang also presented gifts to the children of Con Co.-VNA