|Farmers tend coffee saplings in Bo Y Commune in the Central Highland province of Kon Tum. At yesterday's conference to review the first half of this year in border areas, delegates discussed measures to improve the lives of local residents and security issues. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Le Lam
CAN THO (VNS) — The steering committees of Viet Nam's Northwest, Central Highlands and Southwest border regions discussed the regions' progress on socio-economic development and national defence in 2015 during a conference yesterday in Can Tho.
The committees suggested taking measures to improve the lives of residents, enhance economic activities and improve local production capacity.
They also stressed the need to implement more policies that support various Vietnamese ethnic groups and reduce the number of poor households in border towns.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, also head of the Northwest Region's Steering Committee, said residents in border towns were generally still poor and faced hurdles to accessing education and health care services. The regions' inadequate infrastructure hindered socio-economic development, despite the numerous support programmes initiated by local agencies.
The committees called for a comprehensive review of current programmes and support policies in order to improve residents' living standards. They told government agencies to step up their efforts to combat smuggling and drug trafficking.
The Government should focus on issues like unplanned migration, co-operation with neighbouring countries on national defence and border demarcation activities, the committees said.
They also discussed mechanisms to improve co-operation between local and central agencies to enhance the country's border security and maintain stability in the region.
Gen. Tran Dai Quang, minister of Public Security and head of the Steering Committee for the Central Highlands, said the country needed to speed up its demarcation process with Cambodia. Viet Nam called for Cambodian border authorities' co-operation to work on remaining issues and conduct joint patrols in these areas.
In light of a recent incident which involved violent actions taken by a small number of Cambodian extremists, the general said the Ministry of Public Security was willing to co-operate and provide information to international organisations regarding those areas.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh, head of the Steering Committee for the Southwest Region, urged border localities to increase the number of friendly cultural exchanges between Viet Nam and its neighbouring countries to foster better understanding between the people of Viet Nam and its neighbours. — VNS