The meeting takes place in Can Tho city on July 22 (Photo: VNA)

Improving the material and spiritual life of border residents is a critical mission of local Party Committees and authorities in the northwest, Central Highlands and southwest regions, said Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on July 22.

At a meeting in Can Tho city, Deputy Prime Minister Phuc, who is also Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Northwest Region, noted the poverty and limited education level of border residents along with underdeveloped infrastructure in the areas.

He highlighted programmes initiated by ministries and localities to boost local socio-economic development while requesting additional attention on overhauling existing programmes and policies.

The official also asked for the utmost efforts of competent agencies to prevent smuggling and drug trafficking, promote personnel capacity and enhance relations with nearby localities.

Deputy PM Vu Van Ninh, Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Southwest Region, asked local authorities and steering committees to actively propose measures to improve local livelihoods, especially in border areas, and foster economic development.

He also underlined the need to effectively implement policies relating to border and ethnic minority issues, deal with spontaneous migration, expand foreign relations and defence-security cooperation and carry out border demarcation and marker planting as well as possible.

The Steering Committee for the Northwest Region is responsible for 12 provinces and some western districts of central Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces.

The Steering Committee for the Central Highlands is in charge of five provinces while the body for the southwest region covers 12 provinces and Can Tho city.-VNA