President Truong Tan Sang on January 10 visited the Chi Ma border gate and the Chi Ma border post in Loc Binh commune, the northern mountainous province of Lang Son.

During the visits, part of the President’s tour to northern mountainous provinces, he expressed pleasure at positive changes seen in the border gate system in Lang Son, including Chi Ma, a gate with high potential for strong and rapid development.

Covering 152 hectares, Chi Ma gate has seen the construction of checkpoints and roads linking the gate and Ai Dian gate in China, making it easier for industry and trade activities in the area.

President Sang said the post’s border guards and staff should exert more effort to support businesses and locals on both sides to boost economic exchanges, thus raising export revenue and narrowing the gap between products of Vietnam and from other countries.

According to the management board of Chi Mai gate and leaders of the Chi Mai border post, the area is home to many ethnic groups such as Tay, Nung and Dao, who live mainly on agriculture and forestry. The proportion of poor households in the region remains high at over 22 percent.

Over past years, the border post has coordinated with Defence Economic Unit 338 to implement patrols that ensure national sovereignty and support locals in economic development and poverty reduction.

The same day, President Sang visited the unit which manages the Mau Son defence economic zone with 12 communes in the three districts of Cao Loc, Loc Binh and Dinh Lap stretching 123 kilometers along the Vietnam-China borderline.

The unit has worked closely with the local government to develop residential areas along the border, making significant contributions to reducing poverty in the region.

Thanks to affforestation and infrastructure development programmes launched by the unit, the living conditions of local residents have improved remarkably.

Praising the efforts of the team, the President asked its soldiers and officers to continue helping locals in eradicating poverty and improving socio-economic development, while focusing on bettering the political system in the area and popularising State policies on building a borderline of peace and friendship.

Also on January 10, President Sang visited and presented gifts to wounded veterans, beneficiaries and families from ethnic groups in Cao Lau commune, Cao Loc district.

Cao Lau has over 700 households with about 3,000 people, mostly from the Tay and Nung groups.

The State leader and the Vietnam Red Cross also presented 300 gift packages and 200 blankets for poor people in the province.

He also extended his wish for a peaceful and joyful Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday to locals in Lang Son.-VNA