Son La province should uphold its obtained achievements and overcome limitations and weaknesses to become a relatively developed province in the northern mountainous region.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made the request during a working session on April 22 with the provincial authorities, focusing on the implementation of the Resolution of the 11 th National Party Congress.

The PM said Son La province needs to fully tap its potential and advantages in land and climate to develop agriculture, firstly focusing on afforestation combined with wood processing, intensive cultivation to raise maize outputs and increasing rubber and cotton planting acreages and grass growing areas for dairy cow breeding.

The province also needs to create favourable conditions to attract investors and make the best of its advantages to further develop the cement and hydroelectric power industries, he added.

Regarding the performance of the Government’s Resolution No. 11, PM Dung asked the province to remove all difficulties hindering production, especially agricultural production, strictly control market prices and focus investments on projects scheduled for completion in 2011.

The government leader also urged the provincial leaders to take measures to ensure rapid and sustainable poverty reduction, better the resettlement work, pay more attention to drug prevention and control, and well prepare for the upcoming elections of National Assembly deputies and representatives of People’s Councils at all levels.

He praised efforts made by the provincial Party organisation, administration and people in reaping comprehensive achievements in all fields, noting the province’s annual average growth rate of almost 14 percent in the 2006-2010 period and per capita income of nearly 650 USD.

The province has strictly implemented the Party and State’s resettlement policy, with nearly 12,600 households reallocated to new areas, making an important contribution to ensuring the progress of the Son La hydroelectric power plant, he noted.

Son La has been home to 57 hydropower plants with a combined capacity of 3,800 MW. The province has also sped up agricultural production, especially maize, rubber and tea growing and dairy cow breeding, helping to reduce the poverty rate to 25 percent in 2010 from over 46 percent in 2005.

The province has set the targets of posting a 14.5 percent economic growth rate and lowering the number of poor households by 3-5 percent this year./.