09:59 | 01/06/2015 Economy
The Central Highlands holds a strategic position in Vietnam’s socio-economic development, defense, and security.
To maximize advantages and potentials for local socio-economic growth, Central Highlands provinces need to outline special preferential policies and mobilize greater investment resources for sustainable development.
Its climate and terrain have helped the Central Highlands develop a strong agricultural industry, especially industrial crops like coffee, pepper, and rubber.
The Central Highlands is also known as a production zone, preparing vegetables and flowers for exports.
Located in the drainage basin of the Se san, Srepok, and Dong Nai River, the region has a great potential for hydropower development. Its current hydropower volume accounts for 27% of Vietnam’s total capacity.
The region is endowed with rich mineral reserves including bauxite, and gold-ore, and plentiful materials for building, and a temperate climate and natural conditions which are ideal for luxury tourism development.
Tran Viet Hung, deputy director of the Central Highlands Steering Committee, said that the Prime Minister has agreed in principle that the Ministry of Planning and Investment should work with ministries, relevant agencies, and the region’s steering committee to review existing policies and make necessary changes in areas where the Central Highlands is strong. Incentives will be discussed in detail to attract investment to the region’s advantages, including tourism and industrial crops.
Current investment in the region remains modest compared to Vietnam’s total investment capital. Foreign direct investment is still limited in both quantity and quality and mainly focuses on Lam Dong province.
The Central Highlands contributes about 9% of Vietnam’s GDP and the poverty rate is relatively high, especially among ethnic minority groups.
Economists emphasize closer links between scientists, businesses, the state, and farmers to improve the value of farm production.
Applying high tech to production models is another recommendation for the region, especially in key investment fields.
In the future, commercial banks are expected to pour about US$690 million into the region’s key sectors - hydroelectricity, thermo-power, transportation, and agricultural production – to upgrade their production technologies.
Nguyen Kim Anh, deputy governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, gave more details on investment plans for the region.
Anh said the central bank will continue to increase credit investment in Central Highlands provinces, giving priority to agriculture, farmers, rural areas and the region’s advantageous products such as coffee, tea, and rubber. Loans will be specifically prioritized for agricultural production and large-scale agricultural production models using high-tech.
Vu Van Tu, director of Lam Dong province’s Center for Investment, Trade, and Tourism Promotion, said the region is interested in attracting potential investors both at home and abroad.
"Lam Dong has promulgated a series of support policies for investors in the agricultural sector to reduce post-investment interest rate for high-tech agriculture production, and increase construction material production and processing and farm produce processing. We also have a policy to support businesses in brand name development and market expansion,” Tu said.
Source VOV News