Son La asked to focus on hi-tech agriculture hinh anh 1PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses the working session (Photo: VNA)
Son La (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc suggested that the northern mountainous province of Son La focus on developing high-tech agriculture to boost its economic growth at a working session with local leaders on July 17.

PM Phuc hailed the Party Organisation, authorities and locals of Son La for their efforts to record high economic growth and maintain good relations with Lao localities.

However, he noted that Son La is still a poor province with high poverty rate and low competitiveness. He asked the province to exert every effort to fulfil socio-economic targets for the year.

Son La should focus on ensuring security and order in the border, while paying greater attention to business development.

He also suggested the locality continue boosting high technology agriculture and seek markets for local products as well as speed up the building of new-style rural areas and increase the cultivation of herbal trees.

At the same time, the province should also take more care of locals in resettlement areas for the construction of Son La hydropower plant. Son La should also develop its tourism in a sustainable way, with special attention to preserving cultural identities of local ethnic minority groups, making tourism a spearhead sector.

Son La has a natural area of 14,174 square kilometres, with 250km border sharing with Lao provinces of Houaphanh and Luang Phrabang. With a population of 1.2 million, the province is home to 12 ethnic minority groups.

Son La is still a poor province with the ratio of poor households reaching 31.44 percent in 2016.

Last year, the province’s gross regional domestic products (GRDP) was 9.2 percent, while its budget collection was over 4 trillion VND and per capital GRDP reached 25.4 million VND.

In the first six months of this year, the province’s economic growth hit 5.15 percent.

In 2016, the province welcomed 1.85 million visitors, earning nearly 900 billion VND in revenues. In the first half of 2017, tourists to Son La numbered over 1 million, with most of them going to Moc Chau and Van Ho. Its forest coverage reached 42.5 percent.

Along with fruit cultivation, the province also has 22,000 milk cows which produced 37,000 tonnes of milk in the first six months of this year.

Son La has 43 enterprises and cooperatives with 86 agricultural products meeting VietGap standard.-VNA