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Central Highlands given huge project boost

Update: May, 18/2015 - 09:07
A water plant in Kong Tang commune, Gia Lai Province, one of the province's socioeconomic projects. More than 30 similar projects are planned for the Central Highlands provinces. — VNA/VNS Photo Sy Huynh

LAM DONG (VNS) — More than 30 socio-economic investment projects are planned for the Central Highlands provinces of Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, Kon Tum and Lam Dong, under commitments made at a conference yesterday in Lam Dong.

The Steering Committee for the Central Highlands, the State Bank of Viet Nam and the Lam Dong People's Committee held the event, the region's third conference on investment promotion and social welfare.

Tran Dai Quang, head of the steering committee, said that despite vast potential for development, the Central Highlands has remained underdeveloped, accounting for about 4.5 percent of the country's GDP.

The State budget alone could not meet the region's investment needs for development, he said, emphasing that capital should be mobilised from both domestic and foreign sources like official development assistance (ODA) and foreign direct investment (FDI).

The Central Highlands should also continue to reform its policies and administrative procedures, create a favourable investment environment, and improve infrastructure and human resources to attract investors, Quang said.

At the conference, five Central Highlands provinces granted investment licences to 13 projects worth more than VND16.6 trillion (US$768 million), mainly in agriculture, animal husbandry, services and energy.

Kon Tum attracted the highest investments, worth VND7.7 trillion ($357 million), while Gia Lai welcomed the largest number of projects.

The provinces and firms also signed 15 co-operative projects and three MoUs in hydroelectricity, transport and agriculture, with commercial banks pledging to lend VND15 trillion ($694 million) for their implementation.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Central Highlands received more than VND30 trillion ($1.4 billion) from the State budget and Government bonds between 2011 and 2015 to upgrade highways. The region mobilised more than VND28.4 trillion ($1.3 million) to improve local roads.

Between 2011 and 2014, the region received $410 million in ODA. From 2011 to April 2015, it secured 38 FDI projects worth $122 million. Lam Dong led localities with 29 projects worth nearly $75 million, accounting for 61.5 percent of the region's total investment. — VNS

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