President Truong Tan Sang on April 13 called on leaders of Son La province to work out measures to help local residents throw off the shackles of poverty and lead rewarding lives.

During his two-day trip to the northern mountain province, Sang visited a number of major sites including the ongoing Son La Hydro-power plant and Tay Bac (North-East) University and worked with local agencies.

Provincial Party Committee Secretary Thao Xuan Sung told the President that Son La, home to 12 ethnic minority groups, is still struggling with poverty. Five out of 10 districts are categorised as poor and 89 communes are particularly cash-strapped.

Over the past few years, the province has shifted to growing tea and dairy farming, which has helped lift the province's economic growth.

Sung also reported the province has been successful in resettling residents to make way for the construction of the Son La Hydro-power plant. It has relocated all 12,500 households to more than 250 resettlement sites and financially supported them to live stable lives.

He also said that the province's external relations with neighbouring Laos provinces has been tightened.

Sang lauded the province's efforts but suggested local authorities offer resettled residents more technical and agricultural support to stabilise their lives.

He also noted that when the plant is completed, Son La should take the chance to develop aquaculture.

Sang also asked local leaders to raise the quality of its cadres and pay more heed to disaster-prone people.

Earlier, the President worked with the provincial People's Court and People's Procuracy over judicial reforms.

Referring to Tay Bac University, the training hub for the region, he urged the school's lecturers and students to pay more attention to the quality of training and research, particularly in the conservation of the local culture, and to expand its relations with prestigious universities within the region.-VNA