The Southwestern Region Steering Committee has set an economic growth rate goal of 12-13 percent in 2011 for the southwest, in a bid to reinforce its role as one of the country’s key economic zones.

The Committee has also set targets of earning an export value of 7.5 billion USD and reducing the percentage of poor households to below 12 percent for the region.

Those targets were unveiled during the Committee’s meeting in the southernmost province of Ca Mau on March 8 to discuss tasks and works for 2011.

Chairing the meeting, Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung asked the Committee to provide the Party Politburo and the Government with prompt consultancy to help them work out policies that kept abreast with the real socio-economic situation in the southwest.

He also asked local authorities in the region to better their leadership capacity, so they can promote socio-economic development in their localities more effectively.

In 2010, despite the direct effects from complicated developments in the world that pressed down on the entire country, the southwest still registered a GDP growth rate of 12.2 percent, nearly two times higher than the country’s average level.

The region harvested a food output of 21 million tonnes and earned over 6.5 billion USD in exports.

At the meeting, the Southeastern Region Steering Committee presented to the Government its recommendations on mechanisms and policies related to sustainable and simultaneous economic development in the region./.