Central Highlands: untapped investment potential

14:57 | 09/03/2017 Economy

(VEN) - The fourth conference on investment promotion for the Central Highlands will take place on March 11 in the city of Buon Ma Thuot. Its aim is to contribute to building the Central Highlands into a key economic region with developed production, and to attract more investment, especially in such fields as agriculture and tourism.  

According to a Central Highlands Steering Committee’s report, investment in the Central Highlands recorded strong growth in the 2011-2015 period, reaching VND265.7 trillion. Investment in the agricultural, forestry and fishery sector increased 14 percent per year on average, in the industrial and construction sector it soared 2.39 percent yearly, and in the service sector 12.13 percent annually. Investment capital rose sharply in Dak Nong Province. Investment from state sources accounted for 36.89 percent, and from non-state and foreign direct investment capital represented 59.74 percent and 1.96 percent of the total, respectively.

However, the report says the Central Highlands economy needs to be developed and its full potential has to be tapped. The region’s strengths haven’t been utilized to develop agricultural services, for example. Export activities remain unsustainable, while export products are mainly preliminarily processed with a low value.

To promote sustainable economic development, according to the Central Highlands Steering Committee, regional localities need to develop high-tech agriculture, product value chains and the agro-forest product processing industry. They must also continue investment in transport infrastructure development, and promote regional connectivity, especially with economic regions including the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Triangle in order to develop tourism and attract investment.

A Dak Lak Province Department of Planning and Investment representative said the Central Highlands provinces have prepared land and suitable seeds to attract investment in high-tech agriculture. As an incentive, investors in difficult and highly difficult areas in the region will be exempt from land rent and income taxes by Dak Lak Province.

State Bank of Vietnam Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu said the State Bank and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have a pilot plan for development of economic and high-tech agricultural connectivity models through 22 projects in 11 provinces and cities. A number of banks have provided loans for high-tech agricultural development since 2014. In this regards, the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) has lent VND5 trillion, while Lien Viet Postbank has lent VND10 trillion.

Senior Lieutenant General To Lam, a Politburo Member, Minister of Public Security and Head of the Central Highlands Steering Committee, said the Central Highlands grow many world leading export products such as coffee, fruit and vegetables. The region has natural, human and policy advantages for socioeconomic development. Therefore, it is important to introduce domestic and foreign investors to the region’s potential, prospects, orientations and preferential policies for investment attraction in the 2016-2020 period.

Hoa Quynh