President Truong Tan Sang on February 7 asked central Thanh Hoa province to continue implementing agriculture reforms, saying this would help raise the living standards of residents.

Visiting the province's Bai Tranh and Xuan Du communes, which have successfully applied agriculture reform models, the leader applauded their efforts and noted that the State budget played an important role in the agriculture sector's development.

Bai Tranh commune in Nhu Xuan district shifted to rubber tree planting and applied advanced technology to agriculture production, resulting in a value increase of 30 percent each year.

Meanwhile, residents of Xuan Du commune in Nhu Thanh district have been growing peach and chilli in addition to rice, which bring profits four to five times higher than the staple grain.

During his visit, Sang also visited Nghi Son Economic Zone.

Seven years after its establishment, the economic zone has attracted hundreds of projects from Japan and the Republic of Korea, and boasts registered capital of nearly 20 billion USD.

According to provincial Party Committee Secretary Mai Van Ninh, Thanh Hoa province's gross domestic product rate in 2013 was 11.2 percent and trade turnover reached 920 million USD.

President Sang spoke highly of the province's achievements and asked that the province conduct a proper assessment of its three economic zones.

In the coastal zone, local authorities needed to help fishermen, he said, while the focus in the midland area should be raising the value of commercial agriculture products. In the western part of the province, the forestry sector was a natural advantage that should be exploited.

In Nghi Son Economic Zone, the province should focus on its strengths in oil refinery and sea transport, he added.

Earlier the same day, the leader launched a tree-planting festival at a temple dedicated to Vietnamese heroic mothers and martyrs in the Ham Rong relic site in the province's Thanh Hoa city.-VNA